A typical DUI charge is serious enough, but an aggravated drunk driving charge can put your finances, freedoms, and constitutional rights at risk. The aggravating factors that lead to a felony DUI charge are varied and some may occur even if this is your first offense. For others, multiple prior DUI’s have now made the situation much more serious for you. No matter your situation, you need a strong DUI defense attorney to fight for your rights. An experienced Ft. Lauderdale aggravated DUI lawyer could develop a customized defensive strategy to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.
What Factors May Result in Aggravated DUI Charges?
A typical driving under the influence charge occurs when a person is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. The legal limit for alcohol is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Anything higher than this may result in a driving under the influence charge. A basic DUI offense is usually a first-degree misdemeanor. When the case is aggravated by certain factors, the charge can become a felony level offense. In most situations it is an aggravated DUI charge and carries much stiffer penalties. Factors that may lead to a felony DUI include:
- Having children in vehicle at the time of the DUI
- Being pulled over in a school zone
- Drunk driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Repeat DUI offenses
- Causing bodily harm as a result of an intoxicated driving accident
- Reckless driving or excessive speeding
- Having a BAC that is two or more times the legal limit, even if this is their first offense.
A lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale could help someone prepare a defense if any of these aggravating factors were present at the time of their DUI charges.
Penalties for Felony Drunk Driving in Ft. Lauderdale
If a person is convicted of an aggravated DUI, Florida Statutes §316.193 imposes penalties that are more serious than a misdemeanor drunk driving charge. Some of these penalties may include:
- Up to five years in prison
- Fifty hours of community service
- A fine of $2,000 to $5,000
- License Revocation, possibly for life
- DUI School
- Vehicle Impounded
- Alcohol treatment or classes
Additionally, those with a felony conviction on their record may have a difficult time finding housing or employment one they have served their time in prison. These penalties as well as the collateral consequences demonstrate how serious aggravated DUI charges are, and why a defendant should retain a skilled Ft. Lauderdale attorney after being accused.
Speak with a Ft. Lauderdale Aggravated DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with an aggravated drunk driving offense, you should consult an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not let a prosecutor convince you there is no hope, as every case is entitled to a legal defense. Your constitutional rights and freedom could be at risk if you do not properly defend yourself. To begin building your defense, contact an experienced Ft. Lauderdale aggravated DUI lawyer. Our team is ready to help today.