Finding yourself charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is never a pleasant experience given increased penalties most states now impose for a DUI conviction. The State of Nebraska is no exception to that general rule regarding increased penalties, particularly if the conviction involves a DUI with aggravating circumstances. If you have been charged with a DUI that includes aggravating circumstances, the Omaha DUI attorneys at Petersen Law Office want you to understand what penalties you potentially face if convicted.
What Does “Aggravated” Mean?
As you likely already know, it is illegal to operate a vehicle on a public roadway with a BAC concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. A motorist’s BAC level, can be significantly higher than 0.08 percent, and the higher it is the more dangerous it is for that individual to be operating a vehicle. With that in mind, many states, including Nebraska, provide for increased penalties if a defendant’s BAC level is above a certain percentage. In Nebraska, a BAC level above 0.15 percent raises the offense to an aggravated DUI which increases the penalties if convicted of that offense as follows:
- 1st Offense Aggravated DUI
- Charged as a class W misdemeanor
- Minimum jail time of 7 days
- Maximum jail time 60 days
- Fine of $500
- License suspension of one year
- Alcohol assessment and treatment if deemed necessary
- Shall apply for an ignition interlock device
- If you are given probation you must pay a $500 fine, lose your license for a year and either do two days in jail or perform 120 hours of community service work
- 2nd Offense Aggravated DUI
- Charged as a Class I misdemeanor
- Minimum jail time 90 days
- Maximum jail time one year
- Fine of $1,000
- 1-15 year license revocation
- If you are given probation you will lose your license for 1-15 years; however, you may apply for an ignition interlock device after 45 days. You will also have to pay a $1,000 fine and do 30 days in jail.
- 3rd – 5th Offense Aggravated DUI
- Charged as a Class IIIA – Class II felony
- Minimum jail time 180 days
- Maximum jail time 50 years
- 15-year license revocation
- If probation is given, you must do 60-180 days in jail depending on the level of offense with 60-180 days of CAM after release, license revocation of 5-15 years with an application for interlock device after 45 days and payment of $1,000 fine.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
In addition to a motorist’s BAC level, when a DUI results in serious bodily injury in Nebraska the offense is also aggravated and additional penalties apply. Just because you were involved in a collision does not always raise the offense to an aggravated offense. It is important to understand how the state defines “serious bodily injury” when the term applies to a DUI offense. “Serious bodily injury” is defined by statute as “bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, or which involves substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.” The increased penalties that may be imposed include:
- Charged as a Class IIIA Felony
- Up to 5 years in jail
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Driving privileges revoked for 60 days to 15 years with a mandatory minimum revocation period of 60 days.
Whether you are facing increased penalties because of an elevated BAC or because an accident was involved, those increased penalties can be daunting. When faced with an aggravated DUI charge, the need for an experienced DUI defense attorney to be on your side is even stronger. Do not put off consulting with an experienced DUI attorney any longer.
Contact the Omaha DUI Attorneys at Petersen Law Office
If you find yourself charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer