Things are not always simple when it comes to legal matters. Particularly with driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges, things can get messy. When the issue of aggravated DWI charges rears its ugly head, you might need to pay closer attention to your case and the potential punishment. Read on to find out more.
What Is an Aggravated DWI?
A DWI charge is serious but an aggravated DWI charge could end up making things far worse for defendants. Each state has unique ways of charging and sentencing DWI offenders who are also charged with other crimes at the same time. In some cases, aggravating circumstances will make the DWI an automatic felony. The below list of events may land you in jail with enhanced DWI charges.
Many times, impairment leads to an arrest. Sometimes, though, it is an accident that leads to a DWI charge. Most law enforcement officers are alert for signs of impairment when they respond to an accident scene. Evidence like odors of alcohol, empty containers, slurred speech, and more can prompt the need for a blood alcohol test at a medical facility. Not only can defendants be looking at enhanced DWI charges, but they may also be the target of a personal injury lawsuit that they are likely to lose if they are convicted of DWI.
Higher BAC Levels
Several field sobriety tests are performed at the roadside stop that is meant to identify impaired drivers. One of those detects alcohol in the expelled breath, known as the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Breathalyzer results over .08% will lead to an arrest. If the BAC is a certain amount over that limit, aggravated DWI charges may follow.
Minor Children in the Vehicle
Those under the age of 18, and especially younger children, may have been present when you were charged with DWI. With an eye toward protecting young people, the law can come down hard on those convicted of a DWI with a child in the car. You could also be charged, additionally, with child endangerment.
Not Your First DWI and Other Issues
Many states will up the punishment and charges for those with a second or more DWI charge. In fact, many states have mandatory sentencing guidelines connected to those who are arrested for multiple DWI events. Other issues that can lead to aggravated DWI charge are:
- Fleeing from law enforcement
- Driving with no license or a suspended drivers' license
All DWI charges should send a defendant to the lawyer's office. An aggravated charge, however, makes it vital that you speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your DWI charges right away.
Reach out to a DWI attorney for more information.