Chattanooga, TN- Each year, thousands of Tennesseans are arrested and charged with a DUI. Most of them face simple charges, but some of those offenders face enhanced DUI charges, called an aggravated DUI and stiffer penalties. There are several reasons why a person can be charged with an aggravated DUI, which we’ll USAttorneys will explain.

An aggravated DUI charge, whether it involves a DUI or other criminal offense, carries longer jail times, higher fines and other troublesome consequences. Wex Legal, an online legal resource ran curated by Cornell University, defines an aggravating circumstance as an action which “increases the severity or culpability of a criminal act, including, but not limited to, heinousness of the crime, lack of remorse, and prior conviction of another crime.”

You might face an aggravated DUI in Chattanooga if you were:

Arrested for your fourth DUI.

Driving drunk with a passenger under the age of 18 (usually resulting in an additional charge of child endangerment.)

Or, you caused a fatal or injurious accident while intoxicated.

If any of those aggravating circumstances apply to your Tennessee DUI arrest, your charges could be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony, and you face enhanced penalties, but those penalties vary according to the aggravating circumstances. Using information from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, USAttorneys will explain some of those penalties below:

Fourth offense aggravating circumstance: one-year jail term, $3,000 to $15,000 mandatory fine and license revocation for eight years with no option to install an ignition interlock device or obtain a provisional license. The state also has the power to seize your automobile.

Vehicular assault aggravating circumstance: 2 to 12-year jail sentence, license revocation from 1 to 5 years depending on the offender’s number of prior offenses. There is provisional license available, and the fines can range in the thousands.

Child endangerment involving injuries: 2 to 12-year jail sentence and license revocation. Fines and penalties also apply.

Child endangerment involving death: 8 to 30 years in jail and license revocation.

Vehicular homicide: Significant jail time and license revocation for 3-10 years with no restricted license available.

Driving with a minor child or being four-time offender are also aggravating circumstances.

If you are facing an aggravated DUI charge in Chattanooga, USAttorneys recommends you set up a consultation with an attorney. We can connect you with a DUI lawyer near you in Tennessee who will explain the charges you are facing, the penalties if you are convicted and help you come up with an effective defense strategy.

Because of the nature of aggravating circumstances, you have to fight to avoid being given the maximum penalties. That is why you need to enlist a DUI lawyer immediately and allow them to work on your defense. We are sure you won’t regret getting solid legal representation. Set up a consultation with one of our tenacious Chattanooga lawyers today and discuss the seriousness of your charges.