You were pulled over by a cop who suspected you were driving under the
influence. You disagreed but still ended up in handcuffs and charged with
driving under the influence. Now you find out that if convicted, your
sentence may include enhancements.
Enhancements is a nice word, but not when it comes to drunk driving charges
because they make a bad situation even worse. Basically, it means there
are other factors to consider in these cases that could result in harsher
punishment for the person convicted. Punishments vary based on the severity
of the offense, but the person convicted can expect bigger fines, more
jail time, a suspended license or community service.
First, let’s look at the standard penalties. Whether the charge is
driving under the influence of alcohol or driving under the influence
of drugs, the penalties are the same before adding enhancements. Standard
first offense punishment includes up to six months in county jail and
possibly probation for three to five years. There are also fines and assessments
that could total $2,000 and a six month suspension of the driver’s
license. The more driving under the influence offenses a person has, the
Now, let’s review possible enhancements.
Driving under the influence with a child under the age of 14 adds time
in county jail. A first offence is an additional two days in jail, but
a fourth offense is an additional three months in lockup.
Driving under the influence and speeding is dangerous, which is why prosecutors
made it an enhancement. Driving 20 or more miles per hour on a street
or 30 or more miles per hour on a freeway gets the person convicted a
mandatory 60 additional days in jail.
When a person driving under the influence causes bodily harm to another
person, the punishment is one year in prison for each victim. There is
a three year maximum penalty.
Getting caught driving under the influence in a safety zone results in
DUI in a construction zone
Getting caught driving under the influence in a construction zone results
in double fines.
Anyone charged with driving under the influence within 10 years of a previous
felony conviction will have their charges upgraded to a felony.
Fourth driving under the influence charge
Anyone with a fourth driving under the influence charge within a ten year
period will have their charges upgraded to a felony.
Multiple driving under the influence charges
A second or third charge of driving under the influence results in an additional
48 hours in jail or 10 days of community service, if convicted.
BAC 20 or above
A blood alcohol level of .20 or above may result in increased penalties
and a stint at a state approved drunk driving school.
Refusal to submit or failure to complete a chemical test
Refusal to submit to a chemical test of failing to complete one has increased
penalties for each additional offense. A first offense gets 48 extra hours
in jail and a one year suspended driver’s license. By the fourth
offense, the charges are upgrade to felony, additional jail time is 18
days and the driver’s license is revoked for three years.
Driving under the influence charges are bad enough, but with enhancements,
expect prosecutors to be even more diligent in trying to convict you.
That’s why you need an even more aggressive attorney on the case.
Scott D. Henry at Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County's leading
DUI defense law firm is the type of lawyer you need. With years of experience
and a passion for helping people facing criminal charges, you can be confident
he’s a lawyer who will work hard to get you the best possible legal outcome.
Facing these charges without a good criminal defense attorney could mean
the difference between no conviction, a minimal penalty and a stay behind
bars. Now is the time to find the best criminal defense attorney possible.
Call Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange County's leading DUI defense
law firm now to get the help you need with enhanced drunk driving charges.