In Maryland and across the country, being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. Those convicted of DUI face stringent penalties that may include mandatory jail time, strict fines and often a period of probation. Even more serious situations can result in an aggravated DUI case. This can mean enhanced criminal penalties and increased sentences for those convicted.
What is an aggravated DUI?
If an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while committing other offenses, he or she could be charged with aggravated DUI. Although a DUI is a serious offense, Maryland and many other states classify it as a misdemeanor — at least for most first-time offenders. If there are aggravating factors at the time of the incident, the DUI could be increased to a felony. This more severe charge also means more severe penalties for those convicted.
What factors are involved in an aggravated DUI?
There are several factors that could elevate a DUI charge to an aggravated DUI. These typically include driving with a revoked, suspended or restricted license, multiple DUI charges within a certain period of time and driving under the influence while transporting a minor. If any of these factors are present at the time of the incident, the driver could be charged with aggravated DUI, even if he or she is a first-time offender.
Defending against DUI charges
When individuals are arrested and charged with any criminal offense, they are often left wondering what sort of penalties they may face as well as how this experience could affect all aspects of their lives. Whether it is an aggravated DUI or a first-time offense, those accused in Maryland have the right to retain a seasoned legal representative to help them defend against criminal charges. A knowledgeable attorney can help individuals make informed decisions while also ensuring their rights are protected.