Factors That May Mitigate Your DUI Charges and Penalties
Two people charged with driving under the influence (DUI) may not receive the same penalties even if the court convicts both of them. Mitigating and aggravating circumstances exist that determine the charges and penalties each DUI suspect gets. Below are some of the mitigating factors that may help your DUI case.
Good Driving Conduct
The court may consider your behavior behind the wheel before your arrest. Good behavior may earn you a favorable view from the court, and the reverse is also true. For example, you may enjoy reduced penalties if you have generally obeyed the speed limit, stopped at the trafficked lights, and avoided weaving in and out of lanes. However, dangerous driving tactics in your past may attract higher penalties.
Good Behavior or Cooperation
Your behavior during the arrest may also earn you some good points. For example, the court may reduce your penalties if you didn’t resist arrest and walked out of the car when the officer asked you to do so. However,expect higher penalties if you tried to evade the officer or were generally troublesome during the arrest. Note that cooperation does not mean an admission of guilt.
Clean Criminal History
Your criminal history, specifically your DUI history, may also come into play during sentencing. A first DUI attracts relatively minor penalties as compared to subsequent DUIs. Whereas the maximum sentence for a first DUI in Illinois is 364 days, the incarceration period can go as high as seven years for a third DUI.
Low Blood Alcohol Content
The nearer your blood alcohol content (BAC) is to the legal maximum (0.08), the lower your penalties will be. The BAC determines how intoxicated and impaired you are. A driver with a BAC of 0.18 is more likely to cause an accident than a driver with a BAC of 0.09. Thus, the driver with a lower BAC may get a lighter sentence than their counterpart with a high BAC.
Lack of Victim
The authorities could arrest you and convict you of a DUI even if you didn’t cause any accident or hurt anyone with your DUI. The fact that you were in control of a car while intoxicated is a crime by itself.However, the presence or absence of a victim affects your penalties.
If your DUI involved another person who got hurt, then you may still get reduced penalties if the victim contributed to the DUI or the accident. Say you had a passenger who supplied you with the alcohol and encouraged you to drink. In such a case, your penalties may be lighter than those of a drunk driver who knocked over a pedestrian who wasn’t culpable in the DUI accident.
Voluntary Alcohol Classes
One of the best things you can do for your DUI charges is to enroll in an alcohol program. In most cases, enrollment in alcohol programs forms part of the DUI sentences that courts issue. However, you may gain the judge’s favor if you voluntarily enroll for one of these programs without the court’s order. The enrollment shows your remorse and desire to avoid a repeat DUI.
Involvement of Prescription Drugs
Lastly, you may also enjoy reduced penalties if you were impaired because of medications that you were legally prescribed and not illegal substances or alcohol. Again, note that intoxication due to prescription drugs is still a DUI that can lead to a conviction. However, DUI cases that involve controlled substances or alcohol receive more wrath from the courts.
The best outcome for a DUI case is to get acquitted. The next best thing is to get the lowest possible penalty, such as community service. If you face DUI charges, contactDaniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, to help with your defense so you can enjoy a favorable outcome to your case.