Aggravated DUI charges vary from state to state, including in Pennsylvania. 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 involves specific conditions depending on the state. For instance, some aggravating factors may include having one or more children in the car, a high BAC, or an accident resulting in injuries.
Pennsylvania takes it even further with a third level of DUI charges that also considers aggravating factors.
Understanding DUI laws can be challenging, particularly in Pennsylvania where the laws are more complex. However, if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, don’t hesitate to reach out to Logue Law Group. With a team of experienced Washington PA DUI attorneys, they can assist you in comprehending your charges and mounting a strong defense.
What Are Aggravating Factors?
In the state of Pennsylvania, numerous factors can escalate a DUI charge, each with its own implications upon conviction. As a defendant, your primary goal is to secure a favorable outcome by eliminating or mitigating these aggravating factors. That’s where the expertise of a skilled Washington PA DUI attorney becomes invaluable.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the aggravating factors often considered in DUI cases:
- High Blood Alcohol Concentration: A BAC of .10 percent or higher results in High BAC charges, while a BAC of .16 percent or higher leads to Highest BAC charges. Your Washington PA criminal attorney may challenge the reliability of breathalyzer and/or blood tests, as well as the validity of the traffic stop and field sobriety tests, thereby contesting the accuracy of the BAC results.
- Previous Convictions: If you have prior DUI convictions, whether it’s your second, third, fourth, or even tenth offense, these will significantly impact the penalties you face now. Your Washington PA criminal attorney may explore options to potentially dismiss, expunge, or downgrade your earlier 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, intensifying the potential consequences.
- Accident-related Injuries: If you cause an accident while driving under the influence, resulting in injuries, the severity of your punishments can increase.
For eligible offenders, Pennsylvania offers the Accelerated Rehabilitative Program (ARD) as an alternative. Successful completion of this program might lead to expungement of your conviction. Without participating in the ARD, obtaining an expungement becomes significantly more challenging. To be eligible for ARD, certain criteria must be met, including:
- No deaths or serious injuries, except to the alleged offender
- It being your 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 does not 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
- Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
- 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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