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Penalties for Aggravated DUI

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Driving in North Carolina is illegal if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. The national standard for an “impaired” driver in the United States is .08 percent and the consequences are tough. You may end up spending time in jail, having your license revoked for at least a year and obtaining a criminal record that will stay with you for the rest of your life, because you cannot have a DUI conviction expunged.

When you are charged with operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol while committing another infraction, it is known as an aggravated DUI. If aggravating circumstances are present in your case, such as having a particularly high blood alcohol content or causing injury or death to someone else you may face even harsher penalties.

What are aggravating circumstances?

Aggravating circumstances can escalate your DWI charge to a felony, resulting in more severe punishments. These include:

  • Operating a vehicle while holding a suspended, revoked, or restricted license
  • Being convicted of DUI or DWI more than once within a period of seven years
  • Driving under the influence while a minor under 18 is your passenger
  • Causing a hit-and-run or a major accident that results in injury or death
  • Driving a business vehicle and possessing a commercial driver’s license
  • Refusing to take a chemical test (urine, blood or breath)
  • Being under 21 years of age

An aggravated Level 1 DUI comes with a $10,000 fine and a prison term of 12 to 30 years. Most sentences under this level do not allow for parole, and the minimum punishment cannot be suspended by a court. You may also face increased auto insurance rates or denial of auto insurance coverage. You could also face civil liability for injury, manslaughter, murder or homicide.

You need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the charges and court dates for an aggravated DUI. If you are facing charges, please call us today.