A driving under the influence (DUI) charge means a person is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or another type of substance that interferes with his ability to operate a vehicle safely. This is a crime in most places, and may carry such penalties as suspended licensing, fines, and even jail time. Sometimes, a person may be charged with an aggravated DUI instead of just a DUI. This is a more serious DUI charge that may be reserved for situations that aggravate the crime. For example, if a person causes an accident while he is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he may face an aggravated DUI charge.
Though the conditions that must be met for an aggravated DUI charge may vary from place to place, there are some situations that commonly lead to this type of charge. For example, if a person has been convicted of a DUI at least twice in a given period of time, he may face aggravated DUI charges. Likewise, if he is driving under the influence and has a suspended or revoked license, he may be charged with an aggravated DUI as well. Additionally, if an individual is driving under the influence and does not have car insurance, he may face this charge.
If a person is driving under the influence and harms another person, he may be more likely to face an aggravated charge. For example, if he kills or injures another person with his car while under the influence, he is likely to face aggravated charges. Likewise, if a person has previously been convicted of reckless homicide, he may face aggravated charges as well.
In many places, an individual will face different penalties for aggravated DUIs than he would for the typical DUI charge. In fact, a person who is accused of an aggravated DUI charge often faces felony charges. Many DUI charges that do not include aggravating circumstances, on the other hand, are considered misdemeanors. When this crime is considered a felony, it may not only lead to stiffer penalties, but may also leave the convicted individual with a permanent black mark on his driving record.
While an aggravated DUI often results in felony charges, this is not always the case. In some cases, it may be considered a misdemeanor instead. Each jurisdiction typically has unique laws for determining whether an aggravated DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony. Likewise, each jurisdictions may have different laws that indicate what the penalties should be for aggravated DUIs.