Your New Felony, an Aggravated DUI
Upon being pulled out of your car, breathalyzer or tested for sobriety in some other way, hand cuffed, and charged with an aggravated DUI, you realize you have done one of these three things:
Either you have been convicted with two misdemeanor DUIs in the past five years,
Or you were charged with a misdemeanor DUI while holding a suspended, revoked, or missing license,
Or you were arrested for a misdemeanor DUI while one of your vehicle’s passengers was of the age of fifteen or younger.
You were caught committing a misdemeanor, and maybe that does not seem so horrible, but now you have an aggravated DUI, which is a felony. You are facing guaranteed jail time, probation and revocation of driver’s license, and possibly even a prison sentence. The amount of alcohol it takes to put you over the legal limit costs less than $8 to achieve if you picked up a six pack, and the small swerving mistake you might have made while sober happened to attract attention from the police. They pulled you over, and either they could smell your breath or you accidently slurred an aggravated word. These are all simple, small, inexpensive things, but the consequences of these aggravated actions are nearly insurmountable. For instance, even if you get off without jail or prison time and face a relatively mild probation, you have a felony DUI on your record. A felony DUI prevents you from any of these opportunities: travel to certain countries (like Australia), the right to live legally in any other country, qualification for federal loans and student loans, and even social interactions previously taken for granted. If you were driving a child or teenager while drunk the aggravated social pressure from those around you, your peers, your friends, and even your family can remove any admiration or responsibility you once received.
But that result might even seem manageable in comparison to the aggravated despair associated with a prison sentence. Don’t fool yourself, the likelihood for a long jail or short prison sentence is over 80% for adult males and 50% for adult females as taken from the average decision by the State of Texas judges just last year. The next possible alternative isn’t automatic probation; the most popular recent sentencing for aggravated DUI offenders is house arrest or work release. House arrest will keep you firmly rooted to your home and disallow you from leaving the property for any other aggravated purpose than to see your probation officer by threat of harsh legal action. Work release is a sentence given in addition to county or city jail time where you would be able to leave your cell to work during the day and return there for the remainder of your time during the sentence.
You probably did not just get arrested for an aggravated DUI, and you should be glad.