In Florida, a first-time DUI conviction is typically a misdemeanor offense that can carry serious penalties. However, if certain circumstances of a DUI arrest are present, it can result in an aggravated DUI – a charge which can lead to a felony DUI, which holds even steeper consequences. If you or someone you know has been arrested for an aggravated DUI, it is imperative to immediately seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Here’s why…
What are the factors that can lead to aggravated DUI?
Aggravated DUI (also known as “extreme DUI” or “felony DUI”) is an offense with specific aggravating influences that occur at the time of a DUI arrest. Common factors considered in aggravated drunk driving charges in Florida include:
High Blood Alcohol Content
Driving with a BAC of .08% or higher can lead to a regular misdemeanor DUI conviction but driving with a .15% or higher is considered an aggravated DUI.
Minor in the Vehicle
If a child under the age of 18 is a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, it is considered an aggravated misdemeanor DUI. Driving while intoxicated in a school zone is also considered an aggravating factor.
Aggravated DUI can lead to devastating penalties.
Contact Stechschulte Nell to defend your case.
Repeat DUI Offense
Penalties for multiple offenses are among the most severe aggravating factors in a DUI arrest.
In Florida, a second DUI arrest can result in a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. A third DUI within 10 years is considered a felony offense which results in a maximum five-year prison term, fines up to $5,000, and a driver’s license suspension for up to 10 years upon conviction.
Car Accident or Property Damage
If the drunk driving offense involves a car accident with a minor injury and/or property damage to the vehicle, it is considered an aggravated misdemeanor. A DUI involving serious injury is an aggravated felony offense and if a death occurs, it may be considered vehicular manslaughter/homicide. You’ll want to make sure to call an attorney to help you best defend your case.
Other factors of aggravated DUI may include:
- Driving without a valid driver’s license
- Speeding 20 to 30 miles over the speed limit while DUI
- Driver being under 21 at the time of the offense
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test of blood, breath or urine when suspected of a DUI
Related > How to get my license back after a DUI?
What are the Penalties for Aggravated DUI?
The penalties for aggravated DUI are far more serious than a regular drunk driving charge. Depending on your prior record and the specific nature of your case, the penalties for an aggravated DU in Florida can include:
- Jail or prison time
- Community service
- Long probation terms
- Substantial fines
- Revocation of a driver’s license
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
- Vehicle impoundment
- Convicted felon charge (This results in a permanent mark on your record which can affect employment, housing, educational opportunities and child custody, and visitation rights.)
- Increased car insurance rates or denial of insurance coverage
- Mandatory alcohol education classes and/or alcohol treatment program
- Financial liability for any bodily injury or property damage caused
- Possible manslaughter, murder or homicide conviction
Stechschulte Nell has the experience to defend your aggravated DUI. Call 813-280-1244 to speak about the specifics of your case.
Defense Against Aggravated DUI Charges
If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. With DUI cases, you have a limited time to minimize the risks of your charges.
At Stechschulte Nell Attorneys at Law, we have the experience required to handle an aggravated DUI charge. Common defense strategies often include having evidence against you withheld from court and negotiating with the Prosecution to have the charges lessened or even dropped. To learn more about our legal services or to schedule a FREE case review, please call us today at 813-280-1244.