Things that enhance DUI Penalties in California
Aggravating factors can make plea bargaining more difficult and can increase possible sentences in DUI cases. California’s vehicle code also provides for increased penalties in DUI cases for some of these aggravating factors:
- A minor under age 14 was a passenger at the time of the DUI arrest.
- The defendant caused a car accident or injury to another person.
- Blood-alcohol content at 0.15 or more.
- Refusal to take chemical tests for drugs or alcohol.
- Driving with a suspended license.
- Speeding over 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on a street or over 30 miles per hour over the limit on a freeway.
- A prior DUI or “Wet Reckless” conviction occurring within 10 years of the new offense.
- Being under the age of 21.
One or more of these factors or enhancements can be used increase the potential penalties in a DUI case.
Mitigating factors exist, too
On the other side of the coin, there are mitigating factors that can help negotiate lesser penalties or charges. Mitigation could include attending AA meetings or an alcohol/DUI program even before court, as well as an individual’s personal background, military service, effect of a DUI on someone’s future, potential case weaknesses etc. That is why it is important to contact a DUI Defense attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the Courts and DMV.
A DUI defense attorney can explain the Court and DMV proceedures and help reduce your anxiety as to what will happen. In addition, the attorney will review your case with you for possible defenses as well as suggest mitigating factors that can be helpful in negotiating the best possible resolution.