DUIs with complicating circumstances, and compounding charges, require a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer. San Jose residents charged with a DUI with enhancements are encouraged to seek help at Summit Defense. There are many different types of ‘enhancements’ (or ‘aggravating circumstances’) that could be involved in a case of DUI. Some of these have already been discussed, like that of prior convictions, and some of them are of an equally serious nature, like that of speeding and/or reckless driving. Generally, an ‘enhanced’ DUI simply means that there are additional circumstances involved in what would otherwise by a typical DUI arrest that complicate matters for the accused. Charges for DUI with enhancements are common. The four most common situations are as follow: 1) a DUI involving an excessive BAC; 2) a DUI involving an accident; 3) a DUI involving injury; and 4) a DUI involving an accident with injury. Even though these are not the only enhancements that can be added to a DUI charge, they are the most common. All DUIs and every DUI with enhancements require a trial-ready DUI lawyer. San Jose residents know which one to call.
It has already been mentioned that a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher is considered illegal in the state of California when it comes to an individual operating a vehicle. In cases where the BAC of the accused is .15% or higher, the state of California imposes an enhanced sentence (CA Vehicle Code § 23578). An enhancement such as this could include additional time spent in a state approved and licensed alcohol treatment program or DUI school and additional time in prison.
In addition to an excessive BAC charge, prosecuting attorneys can add other enhanced charges depending on the circumstances alleged in the case. For example, if a DUI arrest occurs when someone is transporting a child under 14 years of age, the VC (§23572) authorizes a sentence enhancement of 48 continuous hours in jail. A chemical (breath or blood) test refusal can also result in additional jail time (VC §23577). Excessive speed is another enhancement available to prosecutors. Travelling 30MPH over the speed limit on a freeway or 20MPH above the posted speed limit on any other type of road can bring a sentencing enhancement of up to 60 days in the county jail (VC §23582).
In several jurisdictions, if an accident should occur during the course of a DUI, the pursuant property damage can result in enhanced penalties. In addition, if there is injury to one or more persons and the accused has also been charged with a DUI, then sentences will likely become more serious and often times the DUI will be elevated to felony status. A DUI causing bodily injury to another person can result in a county jail term of 90 days to one year (VC §23554). If it should occur that the accused has caused bodily injury to several victims, there is an enhancement of one year in state prison for each individual that has been injured (maximum three additional years). (VC §23558). For a dedicated DUI lawyer, San Jose defendants choose Summit Defense.