High-Quality Legal Representation In Kentucky And Indiana

Aggravating circumstances can make DUI penalties more severe

by | Jun 5, 2023 | DUI

If you get charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky, you can expect penalties such as fines, jail time and license revocation. What you might not expect, however, is that certain conditions can make your penalties even more severe.

Kentucky’s laws have outlined several “aggravating circumstances” that can increase the time the convicted spends in jail. What are these aggravating circumstances, and what can you do if you’re flagged with one of them?

The list of aggravating circumstances

State law has outlined the following scenarios as potential aggravating circumstances in a DUI case:

  • Driving a vehicle over 30 miles per hour above the speed limit.
  • Driving a vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited-access highway.
  • Causing an accident that leads to serious injury or death.
  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .15% or more.
  • Refusing to undergo a chemical, breath or blood test.

DUI convictions that count at least one of these aggravating circumstances will generally result in the driver serving double the minimum jail time.

How much prison time will you spend due to an aggravating circumstance?

Here’s a list of how much minimum jail time a driver charged with DUI would originally spend and how much time they must serve if their conviction has any aggravating circumstances:

  • First offense (minimum of 48 hours jail time): Increased to at least four days.
  • Second offense (minimum of seven days): Increased to at least 14 days.
  • Third offense (minimum of 30 days): increased to at least 60 days.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses: Drivers charged with a fourth DUI are convicted of a Class D felony, which normally carries jail time of one to five years, with a 120-day minimum. But aggravating circumstances will set a minimum jail time of 240 days.

While aggravating circumstances will double the minimum jail time a driver must spend in jail, it doesn’t affect the maximum time.

If you are facing a DUI charge and there are aggravating circumstances involved, you can try to have your sentence reduced with the help of a criminal defense attorney. Aggravating circumstances can work against you, but an attorney can help build your defense and ensure the best possible outcome during a hearing.