What constitutes an aggravated DUI in California? Is it a severe charge that could land you in jail for years, or is it simply a more serious version of the regular DUI offense? While there is no one answer to this question, it's important to understand the basics of what can happen if you are convicted of an aggravated DUI. Read on to learn more.
What's In An Aggravated Dui In California?
An aggravated DUI in California is a serious criminal offense that can have severe consequences for those convicted of it. This offense may be charged if an individual has previously been convicted of a DUI or if they were driving recklessly, had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit, or caused an accident while under the influence.
To be considered an aggravated DUI under the state's laws, an individual must meet certain criteria, including having:
A Prior DUI Conviction
When you are arrested for DUI in California, it is considered an aggravated offense if you have a prior conviction for DUI on your record. This means that the penalties associated with your current DUI charge will be more severe than they would otherwise be, as you will face harsher fines, longer jail time, and stricter probation requirements.
In order to determine whether or not a previous DUI conviction is considered an "aggravating factor" in your current charge, the court will look at a number of different factors, including:
- The date of your prior DUI conviction and how recently it occurred
- Whether or not there were any additional criminal charges related to your prior arrest
- The severity of the prior DUI incident, such as whether there was an accident or serious injury involved
Causing Injury Or Death To Another Person While Driving Under The Influence
One of the most serious charges that you can face in California for driving under the influence is an aggravated DUI. This typically occurs when you cause injury or death to another person while driving under the influence, and it carries harsh penalties that include significant fines, jail time, license suspension, and more.
To understand what constitutes an aggravated DUI in California, it is important to first understand what DUI is and how law enforcement determines if someone has been driving under the influence. Generally speaking, a driver will be considered to be operating a vehicle under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08%, or if their ability to drive has been impacted by drugs or alcohol in some other way.
Law enforcement officers will typically conduct a series of field sobriety tests to determine if someone is under the influence, as well as administer a breathalyzer or blood test to measure their BAC. If an officer determines that you are driving under the influence, you may be charged with an aggravated DUI in California.
Having A Minor With You At The Time Of Offense
According to California law, there are several factors that can constitute an aggravated DUI in the state. One of these factors is having a minor in your vehicle at the time of the offense.
In order to be charged with an aggravated DUI in California, you must have been found driving with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher and have a minor (child under 14 years old) in your car at the time of the offense. This is considered a very serious offense, as it places both you and the minor in danger by potentially impairing your ability to drive safely.
A Suspended License
One important factor that can constitute an aggravated DUI in California is having a suspended license at the time of your arrest. Under California law, driving with a suspended or revoked license is considered a "wobbler," meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances of your case. If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license and also have prior DUI convictions on your record, you may be facing much more serious penalties, including large fines and significant jail time.
If you are charged with an aggravated DUI in California, it is important to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. With the right representation, you may be able to avoid harsh penalties such as jail time, license revocation, and high fines. To learn more about what constitutes an aggravated DUI in California, call us today!
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