Aggravating Factors That Can Enhance the Potential Penalties for a DUI
Interviewer: What are the aggravating factors for DUI?
Prior Offenses and High Blood Alcohol Levels Are Aggravating Factors
Paul: Certainly prior DUI and DWI convictions are the main aggravating factor. More recent prior DUI and DWI convictions are likely to cause more problems than priors that are considerably older. Kansas Law considers DUI convictions within 10 years of the current pending charge differently than prior alcohol related convictions that are more than 10 years old. Another aggravating factor in a Kansas DUI case is whether or not the person has tested at or above 0.15 % alcohol.
A Level of 0.15 Will Increase the Severity of Penalties That Can Be Imposed
0.08 % alcohol is the amount at which a driver is presumed to be intoxicated, but a test result of 0.15 or greater will trigger increased penalties – particularly with regard to driver’s license suspension.
If in your history there are one or two DUIs at or above 0.15, the judge might look at this and say, “Not only is this someone who drinks and drives – this is someone who drinks a lot and drives.”
Accidents With Property Damage Or Personal Injury Will Increase The Penalty Provisions
Of course, if we have any personal injury or property damage, those factors will always expose a driver to the risk of greater sentencing upon conviction for DUI.
Underage Passengers Will Enhance DUI Penalties
Interviewer: What about if you have passengers in the car under the age of 14, 15, or 16; is that a factor?
Paul: That’s a matter of statute and applies to passengers under the age of 14. If you have a child in the car with you at the time of a DUI, that will trigger an additional 30 days mandatory custody in addition to the mandatory minimums for the DUI itself.
Injury to Yourself or Others Will Render the driver Ineligible for the Diversion Program
Interviewer: You mentioned accidents. What if you crash into a tree and you are the sole occupant?
Paul: Kansas law provides that a driver is not eligible for diversion if the driver is involved in an injury accident. For a long time, the statute did not distinguish whether the injury is inflicted upon another driver or a passenger, or whether the injury is inflicted upon the driver. I’ve had cases involving a one car accident, no passenger, and my client suffered a minor injury in this accident. By statute, that client is ineligible for diversion because of the ‘injury’ accident. Under the most recent amendments to the DUI statute, if the driver suffers minor injury and no one else in injured, that driver may still be eligible for Diversion.
Watch this video to learn how Paul Cramm defends DUI and DWI defense and to see why you need his representation in your Kansas City Drunk Driving case.
I represent clients facing Misdemeanor and Felony DUI charges in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area and the municipalities of Johnson County, Kansas: De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, and Shawnee. Call today for an initial consultation: (913) 322-3265.
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