California Aggravated DUI Charges
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are some of the most common criminal charges in California. A first time DUI conviction can result in fines, probation, license suspension and more. DUI charges are even more serious when an aggravating factor is involved. An aggravating DUI circumstance is any factor that makes the charge that you were driving while intoxicated even more dangerous. If you are accused of DUI and an aggravated factor, you could face additional charges and steep penalties that include jail time.
California Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases
If you are arrested for DUI, the penalties that you will face will be dependent on the circumstances of your case. The factors that affect the seriousness of your case are referred to as aggravating circumstances. These are other incidents that if combined with DUI can lead to harsh penalties and even felony DUI charges.
Underage DUI – If you are under the legal drinking age in California and are found driving underage DUI can lead to a year of license suspension and more. California has a zero tolerance juvenile drinking and driving policy. A DUI driver who is under 21 will face DUI charges as well as additional penalties for underage drinking.
Hit and Run - If you hit another vehicle or person and then flee the scene only to be found later and accused of DUI, you will face charges for DUI as well as the hit and run. If any injuries occurred during the accident you could face further charges.
DUI Accident – A DUI where an accident was caused due to your intoxication can lead to jail time, license suspension and even felony DUI charges if anyone was injured or killed in the accident. You will also be held responsible for the damages caused during the accident. In addition, causing an accident is hard evidence that you were in fact intoxicated by your raised BAC level.
Violation of DUI Probation or License Suspension – If you are currently on probation for DUI or have a suspended or limited license and were arrested for another DUI offense, you will face additional license suspension as well as penalties for a DUI conviction. You may even be sentenced to license revocation, meaning you are not eligible for any limited driving permits.
Extreme DUI – The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in California for adults over 21 is .08. If you are found driving with a BAC of .20 or higher, this is considered extreme DUI. Lawmakers believe that drivers with extreme BAC levels are more likely to cause serious or fatal accidents and therefore should be subject to additional penalties.
Child Endangerment– Driving under the influence with a minor in the car is considered child endangerment. Because California law states that anyone with a BAC level over the legal limit is considered intoxicated, it is implied that driving with a child less than 14 years of age is endangering their life. Consequences for child endangerment include 30 days of jail and one year of parenting classes.
Multiple DUIs – After you are arrested for DUI in California, police will look into your criminal history for any prior DUI convictions. If you have been previously convicted of DUI in the past ten years, your penalties for each subsequent DUI will be greater. Statistically, repeat offenders are more likely to cause a fatal accident than any other group.
Excessive Speeding – You can be charged with excessive speeding or driving recklessly if you are stopped driving 20 or more miles over the speed limit and under the influence. In addition to speeding, you must also be proven to have been driving recklessly in some manner in order to be convicted.
Chemical Test Refusal – If you are accused of DUI and refused to take a state administered chemical sobriety test, you will face additional consequences if convicted of DUI. Chemical sobriety tests are part of implied consent laws. When a driver refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test, they violate their implied consent and will face a year or more of license suspension.
California DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Southern California and are also accused of any of these aggravating circumstances, call a DUI lawyer right away. An attorney is the best weapon you have in fighting the DUI battle. Make sure you have the best representation available.
Our lawyers believe that every case is defensible and know what it takes to beat the charges you are facing. A DUI with aggravating factors can results in many steep penalties as well as additional charges for the aggravating circumstances. Calling our criminal defense firm is the best way to ensure that you get great results. Fighting the charges is the only way to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction. Call us today for a free consultation.