As you know, if you have drunk driving charges brought against you and convictions for those charges take place, you could face serious repercussions. Your life could endure effects on various levels from criminal to personal to professional. Even with relatively minor DUI charges, the consequences could leave you needing to rebuild certain areas of your life.
Of course, your situation could become even more difficult if authorities believe that aggravating factors applied to your case. Aggravated DUI charges can come with more severe punishments if the court finds you guilty. Therefore, you may wish to understand what conditions could lead to this upgraded allegation.
Your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, often plays a significant role in DUI cases. If your BAC level exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent, police will likely charge you with DUI. However, if your BAC level goes over that limit by a substantial amount, you may face aggravated DUI charges. Authorities typically consider levels that double or more than double the legal limit extremely high.
Presence of minors
If a police officer stops your vehicle and suspects you of drunk driving, having minors in the vehicle could aggravate the situation. Most commonly in this type of event, the term "minor" applies to anyone under the age of 16. Additionally, even if you have no children in your vehicle at the time, you could face upgraded charges if the alleged DUI took place in a school zone.
Multiple DUI convictions
Another common way for aggravated DUI charges to occur involves prior convictions. If you have had one or more previous DUI convictions, the court may increase your punishment if your current charges result in a conviction. Repeat DUI laws differ from state to state, and therefore, you may wish to understand specific Louisiana laws regarding this type of situation if it applies to you.
These factors represent only a few of the conditions that could lead to an aggravated DUI charge. Therefore, you may wish to fully assess your circumstances and the details associated with the event that led to such charges. By understanding what led to the upgraded allegations, you may have a greater ability to defend against the allegations.
When facing criminal charges, having a knowledgeable advocate can make the situation seem less daunting. Therefore, you may wish to consult with an experienced attorney to find out more information on your defense options.