What Makes a DUI Aggravated in Alabama?
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in Alabama, whether it’s your first time being charged, or you have multiple DUIs behind you. If you are facing aggravated DUI charges, it is absolutely crucial that you get the legal representation you need and deserve as well as gaining an understanding what potentially lies ahead for you.
What is an Aggravated DUI in Alabama?
An aggravating factor is one that makes any DUI charge significantly more serious than it already is. While some circumstances only lead to more severe DUI charges, others also lead to additional criminal charges that could significantly enhance the penalties and fines. Such factors that could potentially lead to an Aggravated DUI are:
- An extremely high blood alcohol content. A blood alcohol level of .08 is the cutoff in most states, although you can be arrested below that level if you show signs of impairment. If your BAC is 0.15 or higher, you could face more time in jail and much heavier fines.
- Having a minor in the vehicle. The courts see driving while impaired as a serious lapse in judgment. If you do so with a minor child in the car, you could face much stiffer penalties than expected.
- Causing an injury. If you cause an accident while you are impaired and you cause serious injuries to another person, you could have assault charges on top of your DUI charges in addition to having your DUI charges upgraded to aggravated DUI.
- Causing fatalities. Causing an accident that leads to fatalities makes any DUI substantially more serious. This is a major aggravating factor that could even lead to manslaughter charges – or worse.
The Alabama Super DUI Law
Many people believe that the first DUI is essentially a “get out of jail free” card. In some instances, you can go through rehabilitation or classes to have your charges dropped. This isn’t the case when you have an aggravated DUI. In 2011, the state of Alabama passed a bill that was dubbed a “super” DUI law. This law comes with more severe penalties to violators than a “simple” DUI.
Under the super DUI law, individuals who have a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher face penalties than those who have a lower blood alcohol level. For example, if you are arrested and submit to a BAC test and those test results are above .15, you are facing a mandatory one-year minimum jail sentence – even if you are a first-time offender with no prior DUI convictions.
In addition to the longer term of incarceration, people charged with an aggravated DUI may also face a longer driver’s license suspension. Under Alabama Code section 32-5A-304, a standard driver’s license administrative suspension is 90 days. However, if you are convicted under the Super DUI law, your license can be suspended for a one-year period.
How The McCormick Firm Can Help?
Do not take an aggravated DUI charge lightly. This type of conviction can change the course of your life and negatively impact your future plans. You should hire a DUI attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and your freedom. To set up a free consultation and get the legal defense you deserve, reach out to us today. Call The McCormick Firm at 205-968-1302 or get in touch with us online.