Aggravated DUI charges can vary from state to state, and Pennsylvania is no exception. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of drunk driving charges: General Impairment Driving While Impaired (when the blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher) and Aggravated DUI, which takes into account specific conditions depending on the state. These conditions can include factors such as having one or more children in the car, a high BAC, or causing an accident resulting in injuries.
But Pennsylvania takes it a step further with a third level of DUI charges that also considers aggravating factors.
Understanding DUI laws can be challenging, especially in Pennsylvania where the laws are more complex. However, if you’ve been charged with drunk driving, don’t hesitate to reach out to Logue Law Group. With our team of experienced Washington PA DUI attorneys, we can assist you in understanding your charges and building a strong defense.
What Are Aggravating Factors?
When facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania, there are several factors that can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Understanding these factors and effectively addressing them is crucial for securing a favorable result. This is where the expertise of a skilled Washington PA DUI attorney becomes invaluable.
So, let’s delve deeper into some of the key aggravating factors commonly assessed in DUI cases:
- High Blood Alcohol Concentration: If your BAC is .10 percent or higher, you may face High BAC charges. If it’s .16 percent or higher, you’ll face Highest BAC charges. Your Washington PA criminal attorney can challenge the reliability of breathalyzer and blood tests, as well as the validity of the traffic stop and field sobriety tests, casting doubt on the accuracy of the BAC results.
- Previous Convictions: Past DUI convictions can have a significant impact on the penalties you face now. Whether it’s your second, third, fourth, or even tenth offense, your Washington PA criminal attorney can explore options to potentially dismiss, expunge, or downgrade your previous convictions.
- Presence of Children: Having one or more children under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time of arrest can result in enhanced charges, increasing the potential consequences.
- Accident-related Injuries: If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and it results in injuries, the severity of your punishments can increase.
Pennsylvania offers the Accelerated Rehabilitative Program (ARD) as an alternate option for eligible offenders. Successfully completing this program may lead to the expungement of your conviction. Without participating in the ARD, obtaining an expungement becomes significantly more challenging. To be eligible for ARD, several criteria must be met, including:
- No deaths or serious injuries, except to the alleged offender
- First offense within the last ten years
- No passengers in the vehicle under the age of 14
It’s important to note that while Pennsylvania doesn’t have a specific charge for “Aggravated DUI,” any of the aforementioned aggravating factors can result in enhanced DUI charges. To navigate the complexity of these charges, it’s crucial to seek the guidance of a Washington PA DUI attorney experienced in effectively challenging such cases.
How We Can Help
When facing a High BAC or Highest BAC DUI charge, the repercussions are significant. If you have been charged with a .16 percent Highest DUI offense within the past ten years, you may face any or all of the following consequences:
- Ungraded misdemeanor charges
- 12-month driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory drug and alcohol assessment with treatment
- Possible jail sentence of up to six months
- Completion of Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
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