Receiving a DUI can be an embarrassing, complicated and frustrating experience. However, some circumstances may result in a DUI charge of greater severity known as an aggravated charge. While the normal DUI charge typically carries heavy penalties, an aggravated DUI charge can augment the penalties associated with it to make them much harsher. Understanding the factors that can push a DUI charge into the aggravated category may help you avoid these serious charges in the future.
An aggravated DUI charge can be received if there are certain elements present at the time of the offense. Generally speaking, these elements can either be in reference to the risk a drunk driver poses to others or their criminal history. Some of the elements that are associated with imposing an increased risk to the public include having an extremely high blood alcohol concentration, driving at high speeds or having minors present in the vehicle at the time of the offense. All of these elements put the public at greater risk and may result in a drunk driver receiving the harsher aggravated DUI charge.
Some elements that are associated with having a criminal history include having multiple DUI convictions or driving with a revoked or suspended license. Consecutive DUI charges typically result in more severe charges and penalties. Likewise, being found operating a vehicle without a valid license and under the influence, usually results in an aggravated DUI charge.
Just as with the typical DUI charge, there may be an effective defense after an aggravated DUI charge. By working with an experienced DUI defense attorney, individuals facing these serious charges and penalties may be able to significantly reduce, or even eliminate their charges.