If you are facing DUI charges, you might hear the prosecutor say that your case has “aggravating factors.” If you are not familiar with this term, you are probably wondering how these factors will affect your case.
In criminal law, “aggravating” means that certain facts of your case are true that mean your crime was more serious than the standard crime. Therefore, you could face additional penalties for the crime you are accused of. In some cases, you might face a felony charge instead of misdemeanor due to aggravating factors.
So what are aggravating factors for DUI in California?
Common Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases
In a DUI case, the most common factors that allow for sentences to be enhanced are:
- You have previously been convicted of DUI or “wet reckless” within the last 10 years
- You refused to provide a breath or blood sample during the DUI stop
- Your arrest involved excessive speed or reckless driving
- You were under the age of 21 or carrying a passenger under the age of 18 at the time you were arrested
- You caused damage to public or private property
- You caused a person to suffer an injury or death
Some of these factors could lead to your DUI charges being classified as DUI hit and run or DUI causing injury.
The Effects of Aggravated DUI
If the court finds that one or more of these aggravating factors were present in your case, the punishment you face is more severe than for a regular DUI offense. In addition to the normal penalties for DUI – up to six months in county jail, fines of up to $2,000, and a driver’s license suspension – your sentence will be enhanced if you are convicted of aggravated DUI.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face additional jail or prison time, more expensive fines, a longer probation period, longer drug and alcohol classes, and a lengthier suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
This might also mean that your alleged crime will be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a felony, the mark on your criminal record could negatively affect your for the rest of your life.
Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Right Away
If you are facing DUI charges in California, you should seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as you can. A skilled DUI lawyer can evaluate your case and help you craft a winning defense strategy.
At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of DUI and aggravated DUI in California. We’ve helped thousands of people in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego and Torrance, there is a knowledgeable Wallin & Klarich DUI attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.