An aggravated DUI is a more serious charge than a DUI. You will be charged with an aggravated DUI if aggravating factors are present at the time of your DUI arrest. An aggravated DUI can be a felony offense in some states. A felony offense is punishable with a jail term exceeding one year.
What is an aggravating factor will depend on the state law. Generally the follow are considered as aggravating factors:
- Reckless driving – A reckless driving refers to driving with absolute disregard to the safety of others of the road.
- High Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)– Legal blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 per cent. However if your blood alcohol concentration is very high, then you will be charged with aggravated DUI. What is high will depend on your state law. Generally if your blood alcohol concentration is twice the legal limit, then you will be charged with aggravated DUI in most states. The threshold for aggravated DUI in some states is three times the legal limit.
- Presence of Minor – If there is a minor present in the vehicle when you are stopped for DUI, you will be charged with aggravatedDUI.
- Speeding – If you were caught driving well over the speed limit and your blood alcohol concentration is over the legal limit, you will most likely be charged with aggravated DUI.
- Bodily Injury or Property Damage – Causing bodily injury or property damage can result in aggravated DUI. Severe bodily injury or property damage can result in felony charges.
- Fleeing from a DUI stop/check point – If you are stopped for DUI and you flee from the scene, you risk being charged with aggravated DUI.
- Test Refusals – Refusing to take breath test or blood test can also result in charges of aggravated DUI.
- Revoked or suspended license – Driving while intoxicated and without a license or with a suspended license is considered an aggravating factor in most states.
- Prior DUI conviction –If you have a history of DUI convictions, then you may be charged with aggravated DUI even if your blood alcohol concentration is only a little over the legal limit.