While a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is always a serious matter, an Aggravated DUI charge in Idaho will present many additional potential negative consequences and challenges.
Aggravated DUI is a serious felony charge and can result in severe punishments and long-lasting consequences to a person's life, both personally and professionally. Do not take an Aggravated DUI lightly!
Idaho Aggravated DUI
Being charged with an Aggravated DUI in Idaho means you are being accused of committing additional offenses besides just driving while intoxicated. Under the Idaho Code an individual is guilty of Aggravated DUI if:
18-8006. AGGRAVATED DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS OR ANY OTHER INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES. (1) Any person causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to any person other than himself in committing a violation of the provisions of section 18-8004(1)(a) or (1)(c), Idaho Code (Alcohol DUI or Drug DUI).
While there are several circumstance that can lead to an Idaho Aggravated DUI under this definition, three scenarios are by far the most common. Far and away the most common Aggravated DUI charges result from car accidents caused by an intoxicated driver that cause serious injury or death to another driver. Another possibility that could potentially result in an Aggravated DUI is that an intoxicated driver causes the serious injury or death to a passenger in their car. Last, of the common circumstances leading to an Aggravated DUI charge in Idaho is when an intoxicated driver causes the death or serious injury to a pedestrian or cyclist.
Aggravated DUI - Punishments and Penalties
If you are convicted of a Felony Aggravated DUI in Idaho you are subject to:
- Incarceration - A prison term of up to fifteen years in an Idaho prison.
- Probation - If you are placed on probation, there is a mandatory minimum 30 day jail sentence - This would be a very, very, light sentence. Only under special circumstances would a conviction not lead to a prison sentence.
- Fines of up to $5,000.
- Restitution for any injury and property damage cause as a result of the crime (for more this and what it includes - Idaho Code related to Restitution).
- Driver's License Suspension - least one year from the date of release from incarceration and up to five years. This suspension is absolute - meaning no driving at all (can not receive a limited license).
- Ignition Interlock Device - to be installed on any car you drive after your license is reinstated (Idaho Code Re: Interlock Requirement).
- An Alcohol Evaluation and potentially extensive (and expensive) court ordered alcohol treatment, counseling, and education. This will include the Victims Panel - a one day session required for individuals convicted of a DUI in Idaho. For more about these requirements - Idaho DUI Conviction Treatment Requirements.
- A felony record that may severely complicate future employment and educational opportunities.
Additionally, an Aggravated DUI conviction may result in the victim filing a civil lawsuit against you for any harm not covered by restitution in the criminal case. Civil cases like these, especially if the criminal conduct resulted in someones death, can result in judgments requiring payment of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars by the defendant - in essence, unless they have considerable assets, all property you own and every dollar you earn for the rest of their life will be owed to the victim and/or their family. Subsection 2 of the Idaho Code related to Aggravated DUI allows for "any evidence of conviction under this section shall be admissible in any civil action for damages resulting from the occurrence." This will make the civil suit very difficult to defend against.
An Aggravated DUI Criminal Record
In looking at the punishments listed above for an Aggravated DUI conviction in Idaho, you might think that the felony record is the least of your worries - you would be wrong. A conviction can have serious long term consequences beyond those punishments ordered by the court. A felony record can potentially affect your employment, personal relationships, and reputation.
A conviction can be particularly harmful in terms of gaining future employment, state licensing, federal education funding, and obtaining housing. The conviction will appear on any background checks and all but a few employers tend to pass on applicants with felony records.
Fight Your Idaho Aggravated DUI Case
No Idaho Aggravated DUI case is hopeless. No matter the circumstances, it is important that you seek an attorney's help - an attorney can do a great deal to help you during this difficult time. Yes, the potential penalties for a Aggravated DUI conviction are severe, however, this is exactly why you should hire someone you can trust to fight for your freedom.
No two DUI cases are exactly alike. There is no cookie cutter DUI defense that works in every case.* The strength and weakness of your case will depend on the particular facts and circumstances. The attorneys at William Young and Associates work hard to develop the best defense for your individual case. This could mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal, dismissal, or reduction of the charges.
Even if it seems that all hope is lost - law enforcement has you dead-to-rights or you have admitted to the offense - there is still a great deal that an attorney can do to fight for you. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of an Aggravated DUI in Idaho, an attorney can fight to achieve you the lowest possible sentence. We are here to tell your side of the story, negotiate a reduced sentence, and present an argument to the judge as to why you deserve leniency. Your story is important - Let us help to make sure it is told.
*Because each Aggravated DUI case is unique, so is each Aggravated DUI defense. However, are looking for some general information, please click on the following link - Common Aggravated DUI Defenses in Idaho.
THE IDAHO CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM ISN'T PERFECT & NEITHER ARE DUI CHEMICAL TESTS
Idaho DUI charges are largely based on the arresting officer's opinions and observations. The officer uses their judgment to decide to pull you over or require a field sobriety test. These observations and opinions do not necessarily tell the story the officer thinks they do. Let us tell the story from your perspective.
Even if a BAC reading is taken, a failed breath or blood test doesn't necessarily equal an Aggravated DUI conviction. We have the experience, skill, and knowledge to challenge the legitimacy of such tests and the reliability of the results.
Hire An Experienced Idaho Aggravated DUI Lawyer That Will Fight For You
If you are charged with an Aggravated DUI in Idaho, you need a lawyer that will fight to protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.