Available for free consultations at (916) 233-7346
The prosecutor can add enhancements to a DUI charge to increase the amount of the sentence imposed.
Enhancements can be charged for a variety of reasons such as the following:
- Where a defendant has three or more prior DUIs, the prosecution can charge a subsequent offense as a felony pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23550. However, in order for prior offenses to count towards the three or more requirement, they must have occurred during the ten years prior to the current case. To use qualifying prior offenses, the prosecution must plead the convictions and provide proof as to their validity. Offenses which are counted as priors include any wet reckless charges (under California Vehicle Code 23103.5), California Vehicle Code section 23153, or California Vehicle Code 23152.
- A defendant who has refused to submit to both the breath and the blood test, or just one if the other was unavailable, can receive an enhancement pursuant to Vehicle Code section 23577. If the defendant has several refusals on their record, the sentence can be increased even more.
- An Enhancement exists under California Vehicle Code 23572 for having a person 14 years or younger in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver. A person charged with this enhancement can receive a minimum of two days in jail. However, if the person has several of these offenses, the sentence can be increased accordingly.
- A defendant can receive an enhancement for having a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23578. This section can also be used to put on enhancements on cases where the defendant refused to take a chemical test.
- An enhancement can also be used where the defendant had a previous felony conviction for an offense under California Penal Code 192(c)(1), Vehicle Code section 23153 or Vehicle Code 23152 as long as it occurred within ten years of the current case.
- Enhancement for reckless driving (involving speeding) pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23582. This enhancement carries a punishment of additional jail time amounting to sixty days in jail.
- The new DUI case can be charged as a felony when there is a prior conviction of vehicular manslaughter that occurred while the defendant drove under the influence. The relevant code sections covered by this enhancement are California Vehicle Code sections 192.5, Vehicle Code section 191.5(a) and Vehicle Code section 191.5(b).
Sacramento DUI Lawyer Michael Rehm has significant experience representing those charged with DUI enhancements in Sacramento and surrounding counties. Enhancements are generally more difficult to prove than the underlying charge in DUI defense. The prosecutor can attempt to use the enhancement as leverage in plea bargaining in certain cases. A thorough understanding of the law in regards to DUI enhancements will assist in determining whether the prosecutor actually has leverage or is simply bluffing. This is one more reason why hiring a competent DUI Lawyer can make a tremendous difference. Sacramento County DUI Attorney Michael Rehm is available for free, confidential consultations at (916) 233-7346.