Aggravating And Mitigating Circumstances In DUI Cases

Driving under the influence is a serious charge to face in court. What you may not realize now is that there are a series of aggravating and mitigating factors that could impact your case should you go to trial.

Aggravating and mitigating factors impact the penalties you face should you be convicted of a DUI. They can lengthen or shorten your punishment. Not sure exactly what that means? These are some of the factors that could impact your case.

Aggravating Circumstances

An aggravating circumstance can establish the need for a harsher sentence. A prosecutor may tack on aggravating circumstances in order to make a stronger case against you or to show that your case is more severe than others.

One of the most common aggravating circumstances is a prior DUI conviction. If you have been convicted of a DUI in the past, the prosecution might argue that you did not learn your lesson and thus require a harsher punishment.

If your DUI charge involved injury to somebody else, you might also face harsher penalties based on how many people were injured.

Having a minor in your vehicle could also lead to a harsher DUI penalty. In addition to DUI charges, you could also face charges related to child abuse or harming a child should an accident be involved.

Mitigating Circumstances

The defense may put forth mitigating circumstances. These are factors you want the court to consider to support a more lenient sentence should you be convicted of a DUI. As far as DUI charges go, you may present these factors in the hopes that you will receive a shorter sentence.

For instance, your DUI attorney may present the fact that you have no criminal record. Your lack of a prior record could indicate that you do not make a habit out of driving under the influence.

While many mitigating factors are rare, they are still worth considering. For instance, you might claim that you were in an unsafe situation and felt that you had to drive away to save your own life.

Issues like mental, emotional, and physical health may also act as mitigation in DUI court.

Hire a DUI Attorney

You should always hire a DUI attorney if you are facing serious charges. A DUI can lead to a variety of consequences, including time in prison and serious fines. Your attorney will discuss aggravating and mitigating circumstances with you and ensure that you have legal representation in court.

To learn more, contact a DUI attorney.