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Pictures of attorneys Nicholas W. Christoph and William R. Christoph

Nicholas W.
Christoph

William R.
Christoph

Criminal Defense Experience - 40+ Years

Aggravating, mitigating factors and DUI charges

Every arrest and charge for driving under the influence (DUI) is unique, and the factors that make them and you distinct can affect the possible penalties, charges and allegations you could be facing.   

DUI Aggravating Factors 

A DUI charge in California, alcohol or drugs,  can be scary enough on its own. However, when there are certain factors involved, you could be looking at greater penalties and additional charges.

These aggravating factors can trigger greater penalties and/or more serious charges or allegations. Examples of aggravating factors for DUI cases can include:

  • Causing an accident 
  • Causing an injury
  • High blood alcohol  
  • Having children in the car at the time of the offense
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Having prior DUI convictions
  • Refusal to take chemical tests for alcohol or drugs
  • High speed or reckless driving

These factors can greatly affect sentencing as well as charges and allegations. 

What about mitigating factors?

Keep in mind that just as some factors can aggravate a DUI case, there are also other factors and things you can do to minimize sentencing and/or charges and allegations. These are mitigating factors, and they can lead to reduced sentences, charges and/or allegations. 

Some examples of mitigating factors include:

  • Voluntary participation in treatment and education programs for alcohol or drugs
  • Low blood alcohol or impairment levels
  • No dangerous driving 
  • Attitude during the contact
  • Your background, employment, and individual situation may also be considered
  • Military service
  • No prior record
  • Having insurance if there is an accident
  • Good field sobriety tests

These and other details about you can help to resolve your case in the best possible way.

Putting the pieces together.

Defending against DUI charges not only involves looking at all possible defenses to the charge but also minimizing the negative or aggravating factors and highlighting your positive factors in such a way to support and justify the most favorable outcome.  In many cases that also involves addressing any alcohol or drug issues before being Court ordered.

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