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Understanding DUI Enhancements

Although the word “enhancement” generally refers to something positive, in the case of a California DUI, enhancement means additional penalties for the drunk driver. Essentially, when other factors exist in an Oakland DUI case, enhancement penalties may apply. Some of California’s enhancement penalties include:

  • If you are stopped on suspicion of DUI, and refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test following your arrest, a California DA may add an enhancement which to the sentence which will increase the jail time or result in higher fines and fees. You will also be subject to a mandatory license suspension.
  • If your BAC is 0.20 or higher (over twice the legal limit of 0.08), an enhancement which requires that you attend and complete a nine-month alcohol treatment program (as opposed to a three-month class).
  • If you are also charged with exceeding the posted speed limit (20 mph on a surface street or 30 mph on the freeway), you may also be charged with reckless driving and your penalties will be enhanced in the form of fines, fees, and possibly jail time as well.
  • You could have jail time added to your sentence if you had a minor under the age of 14 in your vehicle when you were stopped for DUI. You may also be charged with child endangerment.
  • If you have one or more prior DUI convictions, you are likely to be subject to enhanced penalties. If you have one prior DUI conviction within the past ten years (from the date of the first offense to the date of the second), your minimum jail sentence, license suspension penalties and the length of time you will attend DUI school will all be increased. If you have two prior convictions within that ten year window, the penalties will increase exponentially, and three priors will result in felony charges which could put you in state prison.
  • If you cause an accident, injury or death while driving under the influence, you will face more severe sentencing and may be charged with separate offenses. When a personal injury or death occurs, the offense may be elevated to a felony.
  • If you are convicted of driving under the influence after being convicted of another felony crime within the past ten years, your DUI offense may be charged as a felony crime, and enhanced penalties will apply.
  • In some cases—such as being convicted of driving under the influence with a suspended or revoked license, or driving more than 100 mph—your vehicle may be impounded as an enhanced penalty.
  • If you are convicted of a DUI while driving in a highway construction area or other safety enhancement zone, enhanced penalties may apply.

Trust Your DUI Case to Nabiel C. Ahmed

Our DUI law firm serves clients in Oakland, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, and throughout the East Bay. Call the Oakland criminal defense lawyer at our office to set up a free consultation. You can reach us at (510) 907-6600.

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