From California to Connecticut and every state in between, there are serious penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The laws and consequences vary for DUI depending on jurisdiction, but one thing states agree on is that this is a serious criminal offense. In many circumstances, DUI is classified as a misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with an aggravated DUI, you may be convicted of a felony.
The penalties for an aggravated DUI are more severe because a driver was caught committing an additional offense in addition to their DUI. For example, if you were driving with a suspended or revoked license and you were arrested for DUI, you can be convicted of an aggravated DUI. Other examples of an aggravated DUI may include transporting a minor; driving in a school zone or operating a bus; causing an injury or death due to an automobile accident; or having a prior conviction of reckless homicide. In addition, if you have a prior DUI within a certain number of years, you may be convicted of an aggravated DUI.
As far as penalties are concerned, it depends on your state. However, you could be looking at community service, loss of your driver’s license, expensive fines, probation and jail time. In fact, 27 states have mandatory prison sentences between 48 hours and three years depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. If your vehicle is not confiscated by the state, you may be required to have an ignition interlock system installed in your vehicle. This machine will require you to blow into it in order to start your vehicle. If a small amount of alcohol is detected, your vehicle will not start.
Outside of court, you’ll likely face the loss of your vehicle insurance. Another long-term penalty is the automatic disqualification from certain jobs.
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