First and foremost, an aggravated DUI is a criminal offense, and thus you should promptly seek a professional DUI defense attorney if you have been charged with aggravated DUI. If a person is convicted of a DUI felony or aggravated driving felony, the individual will serve a probation period of three to ten years and a minimum of four months in prison. During the four months, the individual is not allowed to work or go to school.

Unlike a standard DUI violation, an aggravated DUI is more likely to carry rigid penalties as well as lasting repercussions. This is due to the nature of the crime. Therefore, you need not take such cases lightly. Seek the services of a competent, the experienced Orange County DUI Defense Attorney Law Firm for prompt assistance.

What Does Aggravated DUI Mean?

In some states, they may only have drunk driving charges related to the standard felony DUI. However, they may not be aware of an aggravated DUI violation. Consequently, someone from a different state may find it hard coping up with the new laws in California, and ways of handling the matter.

For such an individual, it would be advisable to seek advice and consultation from the renowned Orange County DUI Defense Attorney Law Firm to be in the safe zone. Therefore this brings us to the question. What is 'aggravated DUI,' and what makes it different from the other drunk driving charges?

As stated earlier, aggravated DUI is a serious charge that may result from certain heightened circumstances surrounding the main incident that led to the offense. However, in this case, the first crime escalated to an explicit crime, changing the situation from a misdemeanor to a felony. It, therefore, means you are more likely to face harsh penalties than misdemeanors beneath which the nearly all simple DUI accusations fall.

Situations that Augment an Aggravated DUI Charge

Every year, numerous drivers, especially in Orange County, CA, are detained for DUI charges. Unfortunately, if you're one of these people, you face several criminal severe penalties if you are convicted of the crime. While this may seem like a bad dream, it happens – and the consequences are not pretty. One is likely to be convicted of aggravated driving under the influence if you:

Have a Minor on Board

If you are caught driving under the influence while a child, under the age of 14, is on board, you will be charged with child hazard. It is a violation of the Criminal Code 273(a). An automatic conviction ticket for an aggravated DUI will be issued if the defendant driving the car is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs with a minor under 14 years of age. The arrest is determined by different circumstances of the offense, as well as by the nature of your conduct. Therefore, you risk facing a prison sentence of up to one year or up to six years. A first offense, alternatively, will get you an obligatory 48 hours in jail.

You may also potentially lose custody of your child. Keep in mind that these are only punishments for endangering the child and may increase the sentence. It means that the more children are in the car, the more the penalty increases. In addition to these penalties, you still face punishment for your DUI.

Have an Existing DUI Criminal Record

The consequences for a person convicted of felony DUI are notably more severe. Such drivers include those driving under the influence in spite of having multiple DUI convictions. By contrast, the driver is exposed to the risk of facing felony DUI charges. Such actions could land him/her in California state prison for three years or longer.

Cause an Accident

One more factor that is likely to intensify a DUI case is if you were involved in an accident that caused harm to another person(s) or property damage. In some extreme cases, if there is a death connected to a DUI case, the drunk driver can be convicted with vehicular manslaughter or even murder.

According to the California Vehicular Manslaughter Act; it is more likely to rush to the From the California Vehicular Manslaughter Act, it is more likely to rush to the conclusion that the party that was under the influence must be at fault.

Have Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.08 Percent

As with any other state, the standard blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent. So if your results show more than the limit, driving a motor vehicle on California roads is contrary to the law. The driver is found to have exceeded the blood alcohol concentration level to a much higher limit of 0.15 percent and above, could face harsher penalties. In some areas, the BAC limit is 0.20 percent or higher.

You Were Overspeeding

Overspeeding can be explained in a situation where, under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, a car driver is caught speeding 20 to 30 miles above the speed limit. It is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in.

You are at risk of losing your life, hurting, or crashing into other citizens. Charges may accumulate, such as endangering the lives of other motorists, endangering children's lives if you have one on board, felony DUI to mention a few. In addition, the driver will face an extra 60 days of any conviction that the court may pass on him or her.

Are Drunk Driving While Under-age

California state law prohibits underage motorists (i.e., those under 21 years of age) from driving while intoxicated. The amount of alcohol in their system should be zero (BAC above 0.00 percent). Therefore, if at the time of the offense an underage person operates or drives a car while intoxicated, he or she may face serious drunk driving charges.

Were Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

You will be arrested and prosecuted under California law if you drive an automobile while intoxicated and at the same time, driving with a license suspended, canceled, or expired.

Failed to Comply with the Orders of the Arresting Officers

Aggravated DUI charges may result from one's failure to comply with the law enforcement team during the time of the offense. This may include failing to pull over, refusing to submit multiple breathing samples or breathing tests. The list also includes failing to provide your urine sample, failing to comply with Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), to name a few.

Please note that your driver's license risks being revoked for twelve months if you are found guilty of refusing to take part in chemical testing. The tests are as per the California "Admin Per Se" legislation.

Consequences of Aggravated DUI

The effects can be brutal for a felony DUI conviction. On the other hand, the infuriating factors shown earlier in the article may worsen things for you. First-time offenders may enjoy a lenient action by not serving time in prison. However, when the state of affairs of a DUI conviction is intensified, a first offender is more likely to be sentenced to jail.

Simple California DUI conviction could mean serving six months in county penitentiary, $2,000 in fines, and deferment of your driver's license, among other things. Although some aggravated DUI offenses may be convicted as a misdemeanor violation, the defendant may be charged with a DUI felony. For example, if your DUI accusation is compounded by someone's harm or demise in an accident in which you have found yourself, you may face severe consequences.

A sentence inflicted for a second or subsequent offense turns out to be more ruthless than they would have been in the absence of infuriating factors. So if you're convicted of a DUI felony, you might face a $3,000 fine, a minimum of six months in jail, and a four-year driver's license suspension. Also, the penalty often includes an alcohol education program that lasts for 18 months.

Furthermore, the long-term consequences are what hurts the most about California's aggravated DUI conviction. A criminal sentence on one's file can trouble the accused in so many situations, and for years to come, it is likely to make your life harder. It will be difficult to keep or find jobs, to get endowments, or to be acknowledged an opportunity to join a highly regarded school.

Enlist the services of a qualified DUI defense attorney if you or your loved one risks an aggravated DUI violation conviction.

Aggravated DUI Arrest Process

Imagine you are driving, and then all of a sudden, you see lights, sirens, and hear  a voice over a loudspeaker requesting  you to pull over. For a first offender, you probably are worried and thinking to yourself, "What have I done? Am I in trouble? Did I break any rules? Will my alcohol consumption be detected?" Then, without realizing, everything happens in a flash. The questions start flowing, the field sobriety tests, the breathalyzers come in, and then handcuffs.

Many things may start running in your mind wondering where you can turn to, or whom you can call for assistance. We're in Orange County, CA, fortunately, and our DUI defense attorney is here to assist. You could immediately contact a qualified DUI Defense Attorney in Orange County to defend you against the conviction. 

We have a team of skilled DUI attorneys that are well conversant in the case and know how to address such a situation. This article provides you with the necessary information regarding the arrest process of an aggravated DUI offense.

Status of Your License

Upon being pulled over by the police officer, you are likely to undergo an investigation for drunk driving or any traffic-related offense. If you get arrested for suspected DUI, you are more likely going to lose your driver's license. However, you may be entitled to a restricted license if you were a first time offender. The officer will issue a slip with the title "Suspension Order and Temporary License," which offers a 30-day driving privilege before which it expires.

In an aggravated case, the terms are different. The officer assesses the issue, and you are more likely going to lose your license without receiving a restriction license. A case whereby you were caught on the act with a minor, you face an arrest and possibly getting locked up. In a situation whereby you were issued a temporary license, you need to be keen on the details present on the slip. 

Most people neglect it, not knowing that it is a notice on the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Your license risks being suspended or revoked unless the safety office reserves the right to hear the Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing in 10 days from the capture date.

Scheduling an APS Hearing

It is essential to schedule an Administrative Per Se hearing to safeguard your privilege of driving. Reservations for a hearing are usually made in the DMV administration office of the regional driver's office. The purpose of this is to let them know that your attorney will argue that you weren't under the influence while driving and try to restore your license altogether. 

Therefore, you have to ensure your attorney gets in touch with the DMV's office to apply for an APS trial and a continual renewal of your privilege to drive in California. Upon making this step, you will get a notification via mail confirming the driver's license suspension adjourned, imminent of the result from the APS trial. 

Aside from postponing the license, the confirmation mail includes the extension date of your temporary driving privilege. You also must choose either an in-person hearing or a telephone hearing. The DMV hearing will fall based on:

  • The violation of a segment of the California Vehicle Code, if any, or any additional reason that may have caused the officer to pull you over.
  • The blood alcohol concentration report, showing if the level was 0.08 percent or higher at the time of driving; and
  • If the officer observed sufficient objective indicators that you were under the intoxication of a controlled substance, thus attracting a legitimate capture.

Court Process and the Criminal Record's Effect

If you succeed in disputing your claims at the local driver's safety department, the process of reinstating your driver's license will be commencing. Unfortunately for those who fail to defend their permits, they may have to face the courts and more likely to be registered for a criminal offense. The date to appear in court is usually highlighted on the citation form received, or in a document whereby you signed as a promise to attend the court proceedings. 

The charges of a felony DUI will reflect on the three issues highlighted by the DMV APS hearing in addition to the aggravated charges at hand. Being registered with a criminal record may tarnish your reputation for a long time. It will be very tough for one to maintain their positions at work, as well as get employment. Aside from that, such a record will increase the amount you will incur from purchasing car insurance. 

As a result, a criminal record makes your life very difficult. What follows is the indictment of your case and the pre-trials. The judges necessitate you to be in attendance at each court trial, as well as the prosecution. Pre-trial conferences, on the other hand, provide a prospect for your competent, experienced DUI defense lawyer to reach an agreement and/or argue your dispute amid the Deputy District attorney.

Based on the details of each case, there may be more than a few pre-trials before the aggravated DUI offense is brought or put on trial. Usually, this progression may take several months. All through this period, the DUI defense lawyer will make efforts to assemble the preeminent defense for the case.

Common Aggravated DUI Defenses

Having an aggravated DUI charge can be quite devastating. Bearing in mind several of the violations claimed against the accused, the prosecutor may, at all costs, seek to prove that the defendant is guilty of a conviction. As a result, you must seek the services of a competent and qualified DUI defense attorney to help you defend your rights. Your experienced DUI defense attorney may use the following defenses:

Validation of the Alcohol Breathing Device

In California, most alcohol breathing tests are performed on an alcohol breathing device known as an alcohol breathalyzer. The precision of this device is limited. The prosecution should demonstrate that the instrument could measure the accuracy within a satisfactory array when the defendant was under arrest. Only then can they present the breath test evidence in a lawsuit or a motor vehicle court.

Furthermore, if the device has not been checked to determine its reliability, the test results will be inadmissible. The DUI defense attorney must also have access to documents as to when the authenticity of the system was checked. The state provides this information.

Error from Radio Frequency Transmission

The alcohol testing device makes use of a radio frequency as well as a source of energy that needs to be strongly analyzed. The stability of the power source of the alcohol breathalyzer and the radio waves emanating devices may shed doubt on the precision of results. This is essential for the reason that police stations regularly have a wide range of electronic apparatus that transmits radio signals.

Physical Problems of the Defendant

An Orange County DUI defense attorney may, at times, argue that a defendant's natural condition, or contact to specific stuff, creates an impact on the accuracy of the alcohol breathalyzer. For a case in point, an individual ailing from conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, or further diseases may have an impact on the accuracy of the reading of the device.

Poor Administration of the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

Getting an education in Field Sobriety Tests helps you to have a better chance of passing such checks in case a police officer pulls you aside for under the influence driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, better known as NHTSA, one should not be given tests:

  • If the person accused of the act portrays any sign of a leg, back, hip, ankle, or knee injuries
  • If the person wears two inches or higher heel shoes
  • If the defendant is at least 60 years of age
  • If the accused portrays any disability affecting balance or
  • If the person weighs more than 50 pounds or more

Most law enforcement officers neglect these rules and continue to test almost everyone. Therefore, if the officer proceeded and offered you the test, regardless of ignoring NHTSA guidelines, then the State may not proceed to check you based on these results.

Dismissal of the Right to an Attorney

If you are a drunk driving victim, speak to the Orange County DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. When this unfolds, it's the right time to seek legal representation. When a DUI offender demands a lawyer, the police must authorize the defendant to communicate with the prosecutor as soon as possible.

If the police officer unreasonably defers/denies the request of the suspect to speak to a legal representative, the remedy in the criminal case is simple. The case shall be dismissed, or any evidence gathered after the infringement of his or her lawful obligation to counsel, suppressed. Consequently, you need to make inquiries to talk to your DUI defense attorney without delay whenever you're pulled over by an officer.

Find a Orange County DUI Attorney Near Me

To sum up, an aggravated DUI charge can severely affect one's life. Besides, it is expensive, time-consuming, and embarrassing. As a result, if you face aggravated DUI charges, it is essential that you immediately seek the assistance of the qualified Orange County DUI Defense Attorney Law Firm. Talk to us via our phone number at 714-740-7866 or visit our offices located in Orange County today for prompt assistance. We will help you understand the charges levied against you as well as help to defend your case.