Tampa Aggravated DUI Attorney
DUI offenses constitute a heavier sentence because of the presence of aggravating factors.
While many of these aggravating factors can lead to conviction of felony
DUI, there are also factors that occur in misdemeanor DUIs that can intensify
the penalties. Aggravated misdemeanor DUI is the midway between a simple
DUI charge and a
felony DUI charge.
Qualities of Aggravated DUI
One way that a DUI charge may be considered aggravated relates to the actual
BAC level recorded at the time of the arrest. If a person being suspected
of DUI takes a test that reveals his or her blood alcohol content to be
.15 or higher, the misdemeanor charge can be elevated from a second degree
misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.
Another factor that leads to indication of aggravated DUI is whether any
property was damaged at the time of the driving. This can either be someone's
home or someone's car who was involved in a non-injury
accident with the driver charged. This will also lead to first degree misdemeanor.
DUI with a presence of a minor passenger can still be classified as a first
degree misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, if the charge is a first offense DUI.
Finally, some DUI with injury cases can still be processed as a misdemeanor
but will be categorized as aggravated DUI and first degree misdemeanor
so long as the injuries are not serious. If the prosecuting agency determines
that the injuries of the other person are serious, the DUI charge is subject
to be elevated to felony DUI.
Penalties for Aggravated DUI
While aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor, the difference between being called
with a first degree misdemeanor and second degree misdemeanor is significant
in terms of
penalties. For a first degree misdemeanor, the minimum fines for conviction are
increased to $1,000 for the first conviction, $2,000 for the second and
$4,000 for the third or any subsequent convictions. Jail time served is
given at a minimum of nine months for a first degree misdemeanor DUI and
that minimum is increased to one year if the conviction is repeated.
Aggravated DUI conviction will also result in an extended period of mandatory
installation of an ignition interlock device at the driver's expense.
The minimum requirement for such a device is six months for the first
aggravated DUI conviction and at least two years for a second conviction.
License suspension, probation and mandatory course participation are also
included in a sentence for first degree misdemeanor DUI.
Defend Against an Aggravated DUI in Tampa
If you are facing a first degree misdemeanor charge for DUI, there is still
the possibility of reducing the charge back down to second degree or having
the charge dismissed altogether. The best way to increase your chances
to achieve this is by hiring a
DUI attorney to defend your case. The attorneys at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. have extensive
knowledge of Florida laws and the science behind charging someone with
DUI. Using this knowledge, we have succeeded in reduced sentences and
dismissal of aggravated DUI for numerous clients!