While DUI charges are generally considered to be very serious, they can be made even worse under certain circumstances. These are called “aggravating factors” in the state of Georgia. If your DUI arrest involves one of these factors, it can lead to tougher penalties following your conviction.
Aggravating Factors Explained
In Georgia, a regular DUI offense is typically classified as a misdemeanor. Aggravated DUI, on the other hand, usually leads to a felony charge, which carries more serious consequences for convicted drivers. It can make your penalties worse by adding jail time, increasing your fines substantially, giving you longer probation terms, forcing you to install an ignition interlock device, revoking your driver’s license, and putting a permanent stain on your criminal record with a felony conviction.
Common Aggravating Factors
1) Serious injury or death.
This is considered to be the most severe aggravating factor. Your DUI is more likely to be a felony offense and an aggravated DUI if you caused an accident that seriously injured another person. The same is true if a person was killed, as in cases of DUI manslaughter or vehicular homicide.
2) Transporting a minor.
If a minor under the age of 15 was in your car when you were driving under the influence, you may receive an aggravated DUI charge. You may also receive harsher penalties if you were driving in a school zone at the time.
3) An extremely high BAC.
Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is not only used to determine if you were under the influence. A very high BAC level can add more jail time to your sentence. The legal BAC limit in Georgia is 0.08, and an excessively high level is considered to be around double that number.
4) Driving well over the speed limit.
Speeding 30 miles or more above the speed limit can act as another aggravating factor in your DUI case. The same may also be true if you violated certain other traffic laws, like driving with a suspended license or driving the wrong way on a highway.
5) Three consecutive DUIs.
In Georgia, you may receive a charge of aggravated DUI if you have two prior DUI convictions. If this is your third DUI in a row, in other words, your penalties may automatically increase.
When it comes to aggravated DUI, there is even more at stake compared to a regular DUI. It’s all the more important to have an experienced DUI attorney fighting for your rights. Savannah DUI can provide you with a solid strategy for your case, along with personal service and knowledgeable legal counsel. For a better chance at avoiding harsh fines, jail time, and other serious penalties, give us a call today.