A first-time DUI charge is usually a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are circumstances when you may receive felony charges for a DUI.
Any time a DUI results in felony charges it becomes an Aggravated DUI.
Multiple offenses may result in an Aggravated DUI charge. These are some of the most common:
- Third or subsequent DUI charge
- DUI committed while driving a vehicle for hire that has at least one passenger
- DUI that results in serious bodily injury, disfigurement or permanent disability
- Second or subsequent DUI with a child in the car
- DUI committed while driving without a license
- DUI committed while driving without insurance
Penalties for Aggravated DUI
The penalties for Aggravated DUI vary depending on the offense. Penalties may include prison time, fines, community service, loss of driving privileges, impoundment of your vehicle, the requirement to complete a drug or substance abuse program, the requirement to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, the requirement to carry high-risk auto insurance and vehicle registration suspension.
The more DUI convictions you have, the larger the penalty for any subsequent conviction will be. Additionally, if you cause an accident while driving under the influence and seriously injure or kill someone, the penalty may be severe.
An Aggravated DUI conviction can result in serious penalties. Additionally, it will remain on your record permanently. This may make it more difficult to obtain employment that involves driving or qualifying for standard auto insurance. Because you usually can not expunge a DUI from your record, it is important to assert a strong defense before you receive a conviction.