Aggravating Circumstances Make a DUI Conviction Even More Serious
Being found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have very serious consequences, such as the loss of your driver’s license, a jail sentence, and high fines, not to mention skyrocketing car insurance rates and the development of a criminal record. These consequences can become even more grave if there are so-called “aggravating circumstances.” Aggravating circumstances allow prosecutors to charge you with a more serious crime, and in Kentucky, being convicted of a DUI with aggravating circumstances can mean mandatory jail time. Read on to learn more about what happens when you’re charged with a DUI under aggravating circumstances.
What is an “aggravating circumstance”?
The term “aggravating circumstance” means, essentially, something that a criminal suspect did while allegedly committing a crime that makes them deserving of an even more harsh punishment if they’re convicted. Generally, aggravating circumstances apply where a suspect’s behavior puts an alleged victim or the public at greater risk of harm or causes a more substantial injury to the victim.
What are aggravated circumstances under Kentucky DUI law?
- Here in Kentucky, you can be charged with an aggravated DUI if:
- You are driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit when you’re pulled over
- You were witnessed driving the wrong way on the highway
- You caused an accident that resulted in a serious injury or death
- You refused to submit to a test of your blood or breath
- You were transporting a passenger who was under 12 years of age when pulled over
- What happens if I’m convicted of a DUI under aggravated circumstances?
If you’re convicted of an aggravated DUI, expect to spend more time in jail. Kentucky law imposes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of four days for anyone who is convicted of an aggravated DUI for the first time. Unlike the sentence for a DUI where no aggravating circumstances were present, there is no option for early release for an aggravated DUI sentence. The jail terms become even longer for second, third or fourth offenses. As a result, it’s even more important that you find a lawyer who will fight aggressively on your behalf if you’re facing charges of an aggravated DUI.
If you’re charged with a crime in Kentucky, seek help in defending your rights and your freedom by contacting the determined and knowledgeable Louisville criminal defense lawyer Ron Aslam for a consultation, at 502-581-1676.