If you wind up in jail and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you might think that things could not get any worse. However, a simple DUI may not be in your future if your arrest contained certain elements. Read on to learn more about enhanced DUI charges.

Charged With a Misdemeanor? 

A simple DUI usually means being charged at the misdemeanor level. While misdemeanors tend to be the lowest sort of charge in regard to seriousness, those found guilty could be facing jail, fines, probation, and more. Unfortunately, things can get far more serious if the DUI charge is enhanced.

What Causes Enhanced Charges?

The law is meant to be a deterrent and DUI charges have come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years. Drinking and driving have the potential to negatively impact several innocent people. Those who are particularly neglectful of their actions while driving drunk may face a higher level of charges and more stringent sentencing.

Examples of Enhanced DUI Charges

Each state handles things differently. The below examples should provide a sample of what usually constitutes enhanced DUI charges:

  1. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is considered an important form of evidence for those arrested for DUI. However, those who exceed the state BAC limit could be facing enhanced DUI charges for driving not just drunk but extremely drunk as measured by a BAC breathalyzer.
  2. Those too intoxicated to drive often exhibit poor driving skills. They may be unable to maintain a single lane of travel, fail to stop at red lights, and fall asleep at stop signs. However, some of those charged with DUI take things much further. Reckless driving is a serious offense on its own. Paired with a DUI charge, it could lead to a felony. Some states define reckless driving as speeding over a certain limit, weaving in and out of traffic in a dangerous fashion, and more.
  3. If a child is in the vehicle when you are charged with DUI, you might also be facing child endangerment charges and an enhanced DUI. If the DUI offender is the parent of the child, they could also face at least a temporary loss of parenting privileges while the state welfare department investigates the matter. 

Things Just Got Serious

Enhanced DUI charges may be more complex to fight against. Talk to a criminal defense attorney about your case as soon as possible. Your lawyer will attempt to have the connected charges dropped by examining the evidence and challenging its validity. Don't ignore this matter or you could end up in prison at the very least.

Contact a local DUI attorney to learn more.