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What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor DUI Charge and an Aggravated DUI Charge?

Driving While Under the Influence in New Jersey

Charges for driving under the influence are different in various states across the country. Some states have stricter consequences for those that get behind the wheel while under the influence. In addition to differences between each state, there are also differences in the type of charge a person receives. A driver may be charged with misdemeanor DUI or aggravated DUI depending on the circumstances of the situation. All defendants need to understand the differences between these charges.

What Is Misdemeanor DUI?

Most of the states across the country will initially charge someone with misdemeanor DUI when it is their first offense. However, a misdemeanor charge is not always a guarantee. It depends on the driver’s blood alcohol content and a few other factors, including who is in the car at the time of the arrest.

What Is an Aggravated DUI?

An individual may be charged with an aggravated DUI when it’s not the first time they have been charged with such a crime. Repeated offenders often receive more charges with the possibility of dealing with more severe consequences. The DUI charge becomes a felony when an individual has a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 or higher, their license was not valid at the time of the rest, and/or they were driving with children in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. If the driver causes an accident that causes serious injuries or even death, they may be charged with aggravated DUI, too.

What Are the Consequences?

The consequences of DUI will vary based on the severity of the charges. Someone who is charged with a misdemeanor may not spend any time behind bars. Instead, they could end up with a suspended license while having to commit to completing several hours of community service. It is normal for those with misdemeanor charges to pay hefty fines in connection to their DUI. When charged with aggravated DUI, prison time is much more likely. Along with spending time in prison, the person may have their license suspended and have to pay fines. The license suspension could last for several years, preventing the individual from being able to legally drive around.

In many states, installing an ignition interlock device is a must for those that are charged and convicted of driving under the influence. The ignition interlock device gets installed inside of a vehicle and the driver must breathe into the device before they can operate the vehicle. Aside from the interlock device and other consequences, an individual with a felony for driving under the influence could find it hard to get a job in the future. Many employers do inquire about a person’s criminal background. If they notice that an individual is a felon, they might not hire them. Misdemeanor charges are often expunged upon request.

Receiving Assistance From an Attorney

Whether an individual is charged with misdemeanor DUI or aggravated DUI, hiring an attorney for assistance is essential. Without an attorney, there is a much greater risk to the defendant. The defendant could potentially end up with much greater consequences for failing to provide a defense. With an attorney’s assistance, charges may be dropped or reduced.

Driving under the influence is a serious crime. If you were charged with this crime, hire an attorney as soon as you can. Upon hiring an attorney, you can learn more about your charges and get help with your defense against those charges in the courtroom.

Contact an Experienced Hamilton Township Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Carjacking Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested for a DUI? in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with hefty fines, jail time and even driver’s license suspension. That is why you need to speak with a qualified DUI defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with a DUI in Robbinsville, Hopewell, West Windsor, East Windsor, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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