After your DUI arrest, you may be surprised to learn that you have additional charges against you. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a judge may decide to impose harsher penalties called sentence enhancements. Here’s what you should know about enhancements and how to get legal help after a DUI.
You Had a High BAC
When you’re arrested for drunk driving, the officer will usually measure your BAC, or blood alcohol content. How much alcohol is in your system at the time of your arrest has a significant impact on how severe your penalty is. The legal limit for adults over the age of 21 is 0.08% — if much higher, you may incur additional jail time and/or fines. This charge can also stack along with others, further worsening your penalty.
You Injured Someone
If someone was hurt or killed in an accident caused by your DUI, you face many more charges and penalties, all of which can be levied against you simultaneously. Involuntary manslaughter carries with it 10 to 16 months in prison, while voluntary manslaughter results in a minimum charge of 3 years incarceration and potentially up to 20. You may also be subject to a civil suit for damages if the injured person or the family of someone killed in the accident pursue a personal injury claim against you.
There Was a Child in the Vehicle
Driving under the influence with a minor under the age of 18 in your vehicle can cause you to incur worse penalties if you’re arrested. The minimum sentence for a first-offense OUI-related child endangerment is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, a judge could extend your sentence up to 2.5 years and your fine up to $5,000.
You Were Speeding Excessively
If you were going more than 20 or 30 mph over the posted speed limit when you were stopped, or were otherwise driving recklessly (swerving, etc.), you may be charged with reckless driving. Typically a misdemeanor, this charge carries with it extra fines and jail time.
Arrested for a DUI in Massachusetts? Call Us Now
If you were arrested and charged for driving under the influence in Massachusetts, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. This is especially true if you have sentence enhancements. Contact our Adams & Kokonowski, LLC today to learn more at 413.737.9700.