What is an aggravated DUI?
Florida drunk driving laws and penalties are severe enough as they are, but if you get convicted of aggravated DUI, the penalties are even higher. An aggravated DUI charge usually does not happen unless there are certain "aggravating factors" present.
Perhaps you were driving home from a late night at work when a police officer pulled you over for speeding. You were tired, your eyes were bloodshot from looking at a computer all day and the officer mistook these as signs of intoxication. Next thing you know, you're being arrested for not the usual DUI, but for aggravated DUI.
How is an aggravated DUI different?
Most Florida residents puledl over for DUI will not face aggravated charges. However, some circumstances could lead to such an elevated criminal allegation. These circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
- A very high blood alcohol content;
- Intoxicated driving with a child in the vehicle;
- Operating a school bus while inebriated;
- Intoxicated driving inside a school zone;
- If the drunk driving leads to a serious injury or death;
- If you don't have a drivers' license;
- If the drunk driving ends in serious property damage;
- If it's one of multiple drunk driving charges that happened within a specified period of time; and/or
- If a high rate of speed was also a part of the drunk driving arrest.
Get help with your criminal defense
It doesn't matter how your aggravated DUI charges came about. An experienced DUI attorney can help you defend yourself against the allegations. It could be that the evidence against you is convincing - and a conviction is possible. If this is the situation, you might consider negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution in exchange for a reduction in punishment.
It could also be that the prosecution has a weak case and weak evidence. If this is the the situation, then it may be wise to fight the charges in court to seek a verdict of not guilty.