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Aggravating issues significantly affect DWI penalties

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Drunk Driving

Not all DWI arrests are the same. For one thing, someone could get a DWI for operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, but they could also face those same charges if they were using prescription medications or illegal drugs, such as marijuana.

But even when someone has simply been drinking alcohol, the most common type of DWI, there are numerous factors that can influence the potential penalties they face. Below are just a few examples to help show how this process works.

Multiple offenses

To begin with, the fine for a first offense is $2,000, a driver could lose their license for the next year, and they may have to spend up to 180 days behind bars. Three days are mandatory, even for the first offense.

With a second offense, though, the jail term leaps up to one to 12 months, while the fine doubles to $4,000. The driver’s license suspension can be up to two years. For a third offense, the fine is $10,000, and the driver could spend between 2 to 10 years in prison. There can also be additional state fines of up to $6,000.

Having a child in the car

Another issue to consider is if there was a minor child in the car at the time. If so, this could lead to child endangerment charges. These bring on an additional fine of $10,000, another driver’s license suspension of 180 days and a jail term that could be as long as two years.

Your defense options

As you can see, not every DWI case is going to be the same. This is just one reason why it’s so important to understand your legal defense options if you are facing charges.