How will aggravating circumstances affect my DUI charge?

The consequences of being stopped by the police in Bowling Green and charged with drunk driving charges can be enormous. Besides the fines, jail time and license suspension that state law authorizes for a conviction, additional penalties may be imposed if prosecutors prove that aggravating circumstances existed at the time of the violation.

A first offense driving while intoxicated conviction carries with it a fine ranging from a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $500, jail confinement of from 2 to 30 days, participation in a substance abuse program, a license suspension of up to 120 days with a 30-day minimum and up to 30 days of     community labor. Aggravating circumstances can change the possible sentence to include a minimum of 4 days in jail.

Apparently, Kentucky lawmakers decided that certain situations warranted increasing the penalties for drunk driving charges. If any of the following aggravating circumstances are proven to exist, penalties for a DUI conviction increase:

  • Travelling more than 30 mph over the speed limit
  • Going the wrong way on a limited access highway
  • Being the cause of an accident in which someone is seriously injured or dies
  • Having a BAC level of .15 percent or higher
  • Failing to submit to blood alcohol content level testing
  • Having passengers in the vehicle who are younger than 12 years of age

The existence of aggravating factors requires a judge to impose a minimum jail sentence that ranges from four days in jail up to 240 jails in jail. The law does not allow judges to substitute probation, conditional discharge or other sentencing options for the jail time. It also does not allow for the individual’s early release.

This post is offered as a broad overview of the DUI offenses, but it is not legal advice. Legal advice should only be obtained from a criminal defense attorney who has knowledge of the facts of your particular case.

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If you live in Oak Grove, Fort Campbell, Hopkinsville, or Cadiz, Kentucky, don’t face your criminal charges on your own. Reach out to criminal defense attorney Michael J. Thompson and schedule a free consultation to discuss your criminal charges. You can reach Mr. Thompson at (270) 439-1175. You can also contact our law firm by filling out our online contact form.

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