Aggravated DUI

Tampa Aggravated DUI Attorneys

Defense Lawyers for Tampa, FL Aggravated DUI Charges

Certain DUI offenses carry heavier sentences because of the presence of aggravating factors. While many of these factors can lead to a conviction of felony DUI, some occur in misdemeanor DUIs that can intensify the penalties. Aggravated misdemeanor DUI is the midway between a simple DUI charge and a felony DUI charge.

What Is Aggravated DUI?

One way a DUI charge may be considered aggravated relates to the actual blood alcohol level recorded at the time of the arrest. Suppose a person suspected of DUI takes a test that reveals their blood alcohol content to be 0.15 or higher. In that case, the misdemeanor can be elevated to a first-degree.

Another factor is whether there was property damage to something like a home or car. This will lead to a first-degree misdemeanor. If the DUI involves the presence of a minor passenger, it can still be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, if the charge is a first offense DUI.

Finally, some DUI with injury cases can still be processed as a misdemeanor but categorized as aggravated DUI  so long as the injuries are not serious. If the prosecuting agency determines that the other person's injuries are serious, the DUI charge is subject to be elevated to felony DUI.

Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR)

In Hillsborough County, the Reducing Impaired Driving Recidivism (RIDR) program is a type of DUI diversion that targets helping people avoid repeat offenses instead of levying harsh penalties on offenders. Some people charged with first-offense aggravated DUIs qualify for the RIDR program, and other aggravated DUIs do not.

The following aggravated DUIs are typically not eligible for the RIDR program:

  • DUI with property damage
  • DUI with a minor in the vehicle
  • DUI with personal injuries
  • DUI with BAC of over 0.20

Therefore, the only aggravated DUI circumstance that qualifies for the RIDR program is blowing between a 0.15 to 0.20 blood alcohol content (BAC). If a driver blows between 0.15 to 0.20 and joins the RIDR program, they will be considered a sanction level 2 participant. As a sanction level 2 participant, the charged will have to complete more stipulations to receive their DUI charge demotion. 

First- & Second-Degree Misdemeanors for Aggravated DUI

The difference between being charged with a first- and second-degree misdemeanor is significant in terms of penalties. For a first-degree misdemeanor, the minimum fines are increased to $1,000 for the first conviction, $2,000 for the second, and $4,000 for the third. Jail time is given at a minimum of nine months for a first-degree misdemeanor DUI and is increased to one year if the conviction is repeated. 

An aggravated DUI conviction will also result in an extended period of mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at the driver's expense. The minimum requirement for such a device is six months for the first aggravated DUI conviction and at least two years for a second conviction. License suspension, probation, and mandatory course participation are also included.

Defend Against an Aggravated DUI in Tampa

If you are facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge for DUI, there is still the possibility of reducing the charge or having it dismissed altogether. The best way to increase your chances of a positive result is by hiring a Tampa DUI attorney to defend your case. The attorneys at Thomas & Paulk have extensive knowledge of Florida laws and the science behind charging someone with DUI. Using this knowledge, we have succeeded in reduced sentences and dismissal of aggravated DUI for numerous clients! Do not hesitate to get our team involved.

Call (813) 321-7323 to get started on your defense today!

Reclaim Your Future

Aggravated DUI charges will threaten your future. A conviction can have lasting effects on all areas of your life, but this does not have to be how your case ends. Protect your rights and reclaim your future with a powerful DUI defense team in your corner. Involve Thomas & Paulk.

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