Being accused of driving under the influence in Florida is serious even in the best of circumstances. However, there are certain factors that can enhance the charge; these are some of the most common.
Having a minor in the vehicle
A charge of driving under the influence can be elevated, known as an aggravated DUI, if a minor was present in the vehicle at the time of the offense. Even if the minor is a day shy of their 18th birthday, it could result in an elevated charge and more severe penalties.
Much higher BAC
In Florida, the legal blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08%. However, if your BAC is greater than 0.15% at the time of your arrest, the charges are automatically bumped up to aggravated DUI. This is because the higher your BAC level, the greater the risk you pose to everyone sharing the road with you. If you’re convicted, you can face a lengthier prison term and heftier fine.
Driving on a suspended license
If your driver’s license has been suspended, there’s a legitimate reason for it. Driving on a suspended license and being arrested for DUI means you can expect the charges to be elevated. You are not permitted to drive if your license has been suspended.
Causing an accident resulting in injury or death
All car accidents resulting in injury or death are charged more severely. If you’re found to be intoxicated, it can result in aggravated DUI charges. Penalties are typically harsh in this situation, especially if a person dies.
Previous DUI charges
By law, prior DUI charges or convictions weigh more heavily against you. You can expect to face an aggravated DUI; the more prior arrests you have, the harsher the penalties if you’re convicted.
DUI charges can change your life. You need a strong defense in your case to have a fighting chance.