A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days, a maximum $1,500 fine, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. However, if there are aggravating circumstances involved in a first-time offense, a conviction can result in increased penalties or even a felony charge.
You can be charged with an aggravated or felony DUI if one of the following circumstances is true:
- Child endangerment – If you are arrested for drunk driving with a passenger under 18 years old in the vehicle, you will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of up to 30 days and a minimum $1,000 fine. This means the maximum penalties can be more severe. However, if a child suffered a serious injury due to the violation, it is a class D felony that carries a maximum 12-year prison term and a fine of up to $5,000. If a child dies as a result of the DUI, it is a class C felony, punishable by a prison term of up to 15 years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Vehicular assault – If your DUI arrest involved a car accident that caused serious injury to another person, you could be charged with vehicular assault. This crime is considered a class D felony, which includes driver’s license revocation for up to five years (depending on previous DUI charges).
- Vehicular homicide – If your DUI arrest involved a car accident that resulted in another person’s death, it is a class B felony that carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence, a fine not exceeding $25,000, and driver’s license revocation for up to 10 years. However, if you committed vehicular homicide and you had at least two previous DUIs, vehicular assaults, or a previous vehicle homicide or one previous DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of up to .20 percent, it is considered “aggravated vehicular homicide.” This crime is a Class A felony, which carries a maximum 60-year prison term and a fine no more than $50,000.
If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI in Sevierville, contact Andrew Farmer Law today at (865) 205-2637 and schedule a free consultation. Let our firm protect your rights, reputation, and future immediately.