Not all DWI cases are the same. When delivering a sentence following a guilty verdict, the court will look at several aspects of your charges, including the circumstances that led to your arrest.
Some elements of your case could lead to stricter penalties, even if it is a first-time arrest. They are known as aggravating factors, as detailed below.
High BAC levels
High blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels can lead to stricter penalties. For instance, with a BAC level of 0.18, you could end up facing an aggravated DWI which is different from an ordinary driving while intoxicated charge.
Children passengers at the time of the arrest
If you were traveling with a minor under the age of 15 at the time of arrest, it is in contravention of the Child Passenger Protection Act, and you are likely to face an enhanced penalty.
Driving with revoked or suspended license
If you are arrested for a DWI, and it is established that your driving license has been suspended or revoked and you are not legally supposed to be driving, it is bound to aggravate your DWI charges. The court will not be kind to you for breaking the law twice – for your license and DWI.
Previous DWI convictions
You are likely to get a heavier punishment than a first-time offender if you have had previous brushes with the law for driving while intoxicated.
There are more aggravating factors not listed here. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of how to handle your charges if you have anything that could work against you and increase the potential punishment.
There’s a thin line between a felony and a misdemeanor when it comes to DWI cases, and you would not want to be on the receiving end of either.