Factors That May Make a DUI an Aggravated Offense
Posted on Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 10:05 pm
When Nashville DUI attorney Brent Horst represents people who are charged with DUI offenses, he explains that there are certain factors that can lead to the offense as being treated as an aggravated DUI rather than a standard one. While Tennessee already provides severe penalties for standard DUIs, the potential penalties when there are aggravating factors present are much more serious. If you have been charged with a DUI, here are the factors that can be used by the prosecution and the judge to enhance the penalties you’ll be facing.
Having an Extremely High Blood Alcohol Concentration
In Tennessee, the blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, limit is set at .08 percent. If you are stopped with a level of at least that amount as shown by breath or blood analysis, you will be charged with driving drunk. If your BAC tests at .20 percent or more, the state’s law considers your level to be extremely high. At this level, the penalties you will face will be much more severe than those for a person whose level is lower.
Having Minors in the Car
You can also face enhanced penalties if you were charged with driving drunk when you had a minor in the car with you at the time. In Tennessee, these enhanced penalties can happen if you have anyone under the age of 18 riding along with you.
Having Several Prior DUI Convictions
If you have one or more prior DUI convictions, you can expect your penalties to be more severe with each successive one. Each state treats successive DUI offenses differently, so to learn more about the penalties you might be facing for a successive DUI offense, you should talk to your Nashville DUI attorney about it.
Getting a DUI While Driving on a Suspended or a Revoked License
When a person is charged with a DUI while driving with a suspended or revoked license, they will face enhanced penalties beyond that which they would otherwise have faced. Even if no accident happened and no one was injured, the penalties may still be enhanced. This is because courts view driving drunk on a suspended license as indicating a lack of respect for the law.
DUI While Speeding Excessively
If you were driving a significant amount over the speed limit when you were stopped and charged with a DUI, you may face more severe penalties. Courts tend to sentence people who were speeding excessively at the time of their DUI offense more harshly. This is because speeding while drunk is considered to be even more dangerous than driving drunk without speeding, due to problems with slowed reaction times and other factors.
Causing a DUI Injury Accident
If you caused an accident while you were driving drunk, that will absolutely cause your charged offense to be aggravated. If your accident resulted in the serious injury or death of another person, you will be charged with felony offenses as a result. These offenses range in their potential for prison time depending on whether the person was injured or killed.
Why Getting Legal Help Is Important
When you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, it is important that you seek help from a Nashville DUI attorney as soon as possible. An attorney who has experience with defending against DUI cases may be better able to identify problems with how you were stopped or how the testing was performed. They may be able to build a defense that is strong to help you obtain a more favorable outcome. They may also be able to secure a plea to a lesser offense if your drunk driving incident was one that was charged as an aggravated DUI offense.
Contact a Nashville DUI Attorney
To meet with a Nashville DUI attorney, call Horst Law at (615) 403-2971 to schedule an appointment.