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What Are Aggravating Factors That Could Enhance My DUI Charges?

Look-Back Period For Prior DUI Convictions

There is a whole host of aggravating factors relating to a DUI in Los Angeles County. One of them is speed, particularly in a residential neighborhood or on the freeway, mainly when people are around. Another is if you get into an accident.

If you are crashing into things or getting into accidents with people, you are very unsafe driving. You are next, having a high blood alcohol level.

The higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous you are and the more likely the prosecutors and judge will send you to jail for a significant period.

Lastly, an aggravating factor has multiple DUIs. If it's your second, third, or fourth DUI, you may be looking at a felony charge and prison time. A combination of aggravating factors would, of course, make the outlook for your case even worse.

In Los Angeles, the lookback period for DUI convictions is ten years. They will look back at prior cases up to 10 years from the offense date. If you get a new DUI and have a prior DUI conviction within the past ten years, it will become a second DUI.

The punishments for a second-time DUI are much more substantial. For example, you will have to complete an 18-month alcohol program instead of a three-month alcohol program. There is also mandatory jail time for a second-time DUI.

Charges for DUI Causing An Accident Involving Bodily Injuries

Suppose your DUI causes a great bodily injury. In that case, you will be charged with a felony DUI and face up to three years in prison, along with a whole host of other punishments, including the loss of your driver's license. Serious bodily injury is not to be confused with grave physical harm.

There is a difference as it relates to a DUI. If you've caused grave bodily injury to a victim and you are driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles, that is a three-year enhancement tacked onto any sentence you get.

If you are charged with a felony DUI with a significant bodily injury, you face three years for the DUI and another three years for grave physical harm. You could end up serving six years in prison for that type of behavior.

Determining the difference between severe and grave bodily injury can be challenging. Broken bones will be in the realm of both powerful and severe bodily injury. Any disfigurement will be considered a severe physical injury.

However, there is no clear line between what a severe bodily injury is and what grave physical damage is for a DUI. Therefore, it is up to your DUI  attorney to argue to keep you out of any injury zone that will avoid severe enhancement of your charges.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.