Tampa Aggravated DUI Attorney

Certain 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!

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