A DUI is no laughing matter. Even a misdemeanor charge can lead to serious repercussions to a person’s future. It is one thing to be charged with a DUI and it is another thing to be slapped with an Aggravated DUI arrest. Though these two sound the same, there are some key factors that differentiate an aggravated DUI.
Drunk driving or driving under the influence is one of the most common traffic violations. The laws on DUIs vary from one state to another. The terms used to refer to a DUI can also differ. When it comes to Aggravated DUI, the charge refers to someone who is driving under the influence and is also being charged for additional reasons that in essence make the act of driving impaired much worse
To further clarify what constitutes an aggravated DUI charge, here are some of the key factors that come into play when an officer of the law charges a person with one.
Having an Extremely High BAC
In the state of Pennsylvania, a blood alcohol content of anywhere between 0.02 to 0.08 percent or higher can be grounds for a DUI charge. Anything above these percentages can be constituted as an Aggravated DUI. Here’s a simple chart for reference.
|General Impairment||Undermined BAC or a BAC of 0.08 to 0.099|
|High BAC||0.10 to .159 BAC|
|Highest BAC||0.16 or higher, or a controlled substance DUI|
A Minor Is in the Vehicle
During the arrest, if a young person aged 14 or younger is found in the vehicle, the accused individual can face further enhanced penalties and consequences.
Accident or Injuries Caused by the DUI
In the event that an impaired individual causes serious injuries or an accident while driving, they can face tougher Aggravated DUI repercussions.
Subsequent or Second Conviction Over a Certain Time Frame
The law is never kind to repeat offenders. That said, anyone with a period of DUI arrest can easily receive larger penalties and longer jail time.
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition is a program being offered in the state of Pennsylvania. Individuals who wish to have their aggravated DUI conviction expunged must complete an ARD. In general, here are the top qualifications that make a person qualified for an ARD application:
In most instances, a driving under the influence charge in Pennsylvania is a simple misdemeanor charge. Typically, two years is the maximum sentencing (imprisonment) for a DUI conviction. There are two factors that can enhance a sentence. They are as follows:
- The individual’s offense is the first in the last ten years.
- No serious injuries or deaths occurred, other than injuries to the supposed offender.
- During the incident, no passengers in the accused’s vehicle were under the age of 18 during the time of the offense.
For individuals who have prior convictions or current dispositions in the last decade in the state of Pennsylvania or other states, these past offenses will be a consideration included in the sentencing. The existence of prior DUI convictions can place a person in a category with penalties that are stricter. Furthermore, any refusal to be subjected to a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test is punishable with additional fines and possible incarceration.
Given the nature of an aggravated DUI charge, it is easy to see why the above factors can disqualify a person from applying for the Pennsylvania ARD Program. Having an experienced and knowledgeable court defendant can help an accused in planning a defense strategy that includes an ARD program. With legal representation, a person being charged with this felony can have certain factors removed from the case.
In any legal bind, nothing trumps having a DUI defense attorney who is equipped to handle the case properly. Rather than face the charges without having any knowledge, it is always best that an accused individual seek the services of a legal professional. Whether it is to have the charges dropped or the sentence reduced in an aggravated DUI case, an attorney is the best person to have on hand.