Monday, April 16, 2012

Boise Criminal Lawyers - Idaho Criminal Defense Attorneys - Aggravated DUI

Aggravated DUI and Criminal Defense
As a Boise Criminal Lawyer I am often asked if a DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony.  In general a first or a second time DUI, within 10 years, is a misdemeanor.  Thereafter the DUI becomes a felony.  There is an exception to this case, however.  An aggravated DUI, whether it is your first DUI or not, is a felony.  Another question I regularly hear as a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney is, what makes something an aggravated crime?  For a DUI to be considered aggravated, the intoxicated driver must have cause great bodily harm to someone, other than him or herself.  This harm includes permanent disability and disfigurement.  It is the act of causing extensive harm to another that makes something aggravated.

A further distinguishing factor between an aggravated DUI and a "regular" driving under the influence charge lies in the penalty.  The penalty is accelerated, in the sense that it very quickly becomes very severe.  A charge of this type, even if it is your first drunk driving charge, may result in you being sentenced to the state penitentiary for up to 15 years.  A third time driving under the influence charge (within 10 years) , however, only carries a maximum 10 year state penitentiary sentence.

Aggravated DUI and Personal Injury
An aggravated driving under the influence charge is one of those areas that can have a cross over between criminal law and civil law.  If you are charged with this type of DUI the state of Idaho can and will charge you with a crime that requires criminal defense.  In addition, the party to whom you caused the injury, or their family (if the victim died) can sue you in civil court for a personal injury.  So instead of facing just the DUI charge, you may be facing a civil suit as well.

If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI or any other criminal charge in Idaho and you need to speak to an attorney, please give us a call and speak with one of our Boise Criminal Lawyers, (208) 472-2383.  Give us a call now.


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