Among the many reasons to consult an experienced DUI attorney is the fact that aggravated DUI offenders in California will face longer classes than those usually required by the state. Understand the full scope of CA DUI penalties and what to do if the charges are exacerbated with an aggravating circumstance.
Aggravated DUI Defined
Standard DUI penalties apply when the driver’s intoxication is not related to other serious offenses. With the help of a DUI lawyer, most first time DUI offenders can avoid jail time and satisfy court orders with mandatory fines and alcohol programs. However, if your arrest involved any of the following circumstances, harsher penalties, including longer classes, will apply:
- Accident causing bodily injury or property damage
- Hit and run accident
- Blood or breath test indicating a BAC of .20% or higher
- Refusal to submit to field sobriety test(s)
- Driver’s license suspension or expiration or driving without license
- Reckless driving or excessive speeding (25-30+ mph over limit)
- Driver is on probation
- Children ages 14 or under in the vehicle
- Driver is under the age of 21
- Driver has 2-3 DUIs within 10 years
Additional and/or extended classes may be mandatory based on your aggravated DUI. Some examples of aggravated DUI penalties are:
- 9-month alcohol program or additional AA meetings for BAC over .20%
- One year of parenting classes for a child endangerment charge from driving under the influence with someone under the age of 14
- 9-month alcohol program for refusing a blood or breath test
The standard term for alcohol classes are as follows:
- 1st offense misdemeanor DUI – 3 or 9 months
- 2nd offense misdemeanor DUI – 18 or 30 months
- 3rd offense misdemeanor DUI – 30 months
- Misdemeanor DUI with injury – 3, 18, or 30 months
- Felony DUI with or without injury – 18 or 30 months
Not only will you not have the option for a plea bargain, the prosecutor will likely push for additional punishments based on the aggravating factor. They can include but are not limited to a longer jail sentence, community labor, alcohol classes, AA or community service requirements or CalTrans jobs like freeway cleanup. For example:
- Misdemeanor DUI involving injury will result in a minimum of a one-year license suspension and minimum 5-day jail sentence. You will also be required to pay for the damages.
- Felony DUI will result in a prison term of 16 months.
- Additional child endangerment charges require 30 days in jail.
- Failure to submit to BAC test will result in 4 days in jail and a one-year license suspension.
- License suspensions from a previous DUI will result in a 10-day jail sentence, mandatory ignition interlock and additional fines.
- Drivers under the age of 21 will face a one-year license suspension due to the zero tolerance law. Prosecutors will likely push for a Hospital and Morgue program as well.
- Offenders who violate probation are subject to the mercy of the judge and penalties will depend on the terms of probation. Jail time is not uncommon.
On top of the harsher penalties like additional jail time and steeper fines, aggravated DUI can often result in alcohol education which teaches offenders about the effects of alcohol dependency and consequences of DUI. Although driver’s license privileges are often revoked, the mandatory nature of DUI classes usually allow for restricted driving to and from each session.
To minimize the risk of maximum sentencing, aggravated DUI offenders are always advised to discuss their cases with an attorney.
Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.