There are multiple types of DUI that you can be accused of, and not all of them follow the exact same rules, laws, or charges. If you have been charged with any kind of DUI, then you need to understand what the criminal charges actually are to fight it properly – especially if you do not think that the UI was given fairly.
Here are the four main types of DUI, as well as how an attorney might have to handle them in different ways.
A regular DUI is for something small – generally, this happens when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at around 0.08% or higher. This is the general legal limit and the point that you want to avoid if you will be driving after drinking, meaning that there is a very low margin for how much alcohol can be in your blood.
Because this is such a minor type of DUI, the outcome can depend on the actual BAC you were charged with having. If you didn’t hit anything or cause any problems on the road, and possess a BAC of only 0.08%, then there is a chance that the DUI charge will not lead to anything.
Still, you need to make sure that you have an attorney on hand (either your own attorney or one that you can hire/work with after being arrested) just in case. This standard DUI is still a DUI, so it can go on your permanent record or lead to real jail time.
If you are convicted, expect a 45-day jail sentence and 90 days of no alcohol through the use of an alcohol monitoring device. Not all states follow the exact same system, but this is a common outcome.
An extreme DUI is a case where you have obviously gone over the legal limit but have decided to drive anyway. This often ranges from 0.150% to 0.199% BAC, and it shows that you are well above the normal amount of alcohol that your body should possess while driving.
An extreme DUI definitely requires an attorney because it becomes much harder to argue that you accidentally went above the limit. It is still possible to get through an extreme DUI with only minor consequences, but it depends on what actually happened: if you caused property damage or injuries, then it is much less likely.
The consequences are much higher but not as extreme as the following two DUI types.
Super Extreme DUI
A super extreme DUI means that your BAC is above 0.20%, almost three times the legal limit. In this case, you will need an attorney to help since there is no way that you can properly fight the charge on your own. At most, you will be able to reduce your penalties and punishments – it is hard to get this kind of charge completely dismissed.
This leads to a mandatory 180 days in jail if you are convicted, as well as a chance of fines, community service, alcohol classes for at least 36 hours, and other consequences. The more risk you placed others in, the more severe these will become.
While these are not the worst type of DUI to get, they are also not something you can just walk away from – they are only saved from being a more serious crime because they do not really cover injury or damage to property on a larger scale, something that an aggravated DUI does.
An aggravated DUI is considered a felony, meaning that it is a much more serious crime. These happen if there are specific ‘aggravating factors’ attached to the circumstances behind your DUI, like having multiple charges in the last 7 years, driving with a passenger below 15 years of age in the vehicle, not having a license, and so on.
This also includes damage to people or property, as well as going the wrong day down the highway. In this case, a criminal lawyer is essentially mandatory because you are being charged with a major criminal offense that will usually have evidence backing it up.
Once again, the more extreme the situation, the worse the punishments can end up being. Either way, expect extremely steep fines, a decade-long alcohol probation period, prison time, or even installation of an interlock device that forces you to take a breath test each time you start your vehicle.