Governments classify criminal actions in different categories. For example, not everyone accused of driving under the influence (DUI) faces the same charges. Below is an overview of aggravated DUI, which is one of the categories of DUI charges.
What It Means
Aggravated DUI charges are more serious than standard DUI charges. States have aggravated DUI laws because some offenses are more serious than others are, and the offenders should not face the same punishments. For example, someone who gets behind the wheel after having a dozen beers should not face the same punishments as a driver who has only had a bottle of beer.
Numerous factors can elevate your DUI charges to aggravated DUI status. Below aresome factors that can aggravate your DUI charges and the rationalization for their aggravating nature:
- DUI with a high BAC (blood alcohol content). A high BAC means more intoxication and impairment, which increases the risk of an accident.
- DUI with a child passenger. Children belong to a protected class since they might not be aware of the dangers of drinking and driving.
- Multiple DUIs. Multiple DUIs means you have not learned the dangers of intoxicated driving despite your previous punishments.
- DUI accident. The damages or injury associated with an accident call for a greater punishment than non-accident DUIs.
- DUI in a school zone. DUI in a school zone increases the risk of accidents involving children, which belong to a protected class.
- DUI with a suspended license. Driving without a license is an offense, and a DUI is also an offense, — the combination of two traffic offenses is more serious than a single offense.
The above list is just a brief snippet of factors that can lead to aggravated DUI charges. In most areas, it is the court's prerogative to determine what the aggravating factors are.
Since an aggravated DUI is more serious than a standard DUI, it follows that aggravated DUI can lead to harsher consequences too. Examples of such consequences include the following:
- Longer incarceration periods
- Higher monetary fines
- Longer license suspensions
- Vehicle seizure
A conviction of aggravated DUI also increases the risk of multiple punishments. For example, while you may only get away with a suspended license and a monetary fine for a standard DUI, a conviction of aggravated DUI might include things like incarceration, restitution, and vehicle seizure, among other things.
As you can see, an aggravated DUI is a serious criminal charge. Get a criminal lawyer to help you out if you are facing such a charge.