When a driver is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in
Orange County, they will
usually be charged with a misdemeanor under California 23152(a) or 23152(b).
In California and every other state, it is unlawful for drivers 21 and
older to drive with a
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. If someone is arrested for DUI in California,
the judge will review the facts of the case and determine the driver’s
sentencing and penalties.
When the prosecutor and judge examines a case, they will weigh all mitigating
and aggravating factors. For example, if the driver’s BAC was a
bit under .08%, the prosecution may agree to reduce the DUI charge to
a wet reckless, which is favorable for the
DUI defendant because the penalties are lower.
In contrast, there are
aggravating factors, factors which make the DUI more serious, and the prosecution less willing
to be lenient. For instance, the courts frown upon people with an extremely
high BAC in their systems, and people who were speeding like maniacs down
a residential street while under the influence.
Recognizing the fact that DUIs are not all the same and with pressure from
groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), courts across the
country enacted stiffer punishments for DUIs involving “aggravating”
circumstances or factors.
Aggravating Factors Under California Law
In California, there are several aggravating factors in a DUI case that
will lead to stiffer sentencing and penalties, and these include:
- Having a BAC above 0.15%
Refusing to submit to a
chemical test (breath, blood or urine)
- Having a minor passenger under 14-years-of-age
injury or death to multiple victims
- Driving at an excessive speed (more than 20 mph over the speed limit on
streets and more than 30 mph on the freeway)
- Having a previous DUI or felony DUI conviction
If you are facing DUI charges and there were aggravating factors present,
such as an elevated BAC or a child passenger, contact the Law Offices
of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. right away. When there are aggravating factors
present, the penalties are much stiffer and can impact you for much longer
than a standard DUI.
Call now for a free consultation with Orange County’s DUI Queen!