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DUIs in California are serious criminal matters. Even if it’s your first offense, police can charge you with an aggravated DUI in California in certain circumstances.

Enhanced DUI charges carry serious consequences that could land you in jail, on probation, and without a driver’s license for a long time. 

In this trying situation, you need to have an attorney who has a proven track record of positive results.

The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, has tough, aggressive, and successful DUI defense lawyers who can give you the best chance to beat your DUI case or get your charges reduced.

They know how to win. Call them today at 619-234-2300 to find out how they can help you. 

What Factors Contribute to an Aggravated DUI in California?

A first-time DUI is typically a misdemeanor. Although sentencing depends on your particular circumstances, the court very seldom imposes the maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a DUI conviction.

The judge can give you probation instead of sending you to jail. 

However, there are situations where the police may bring an enhanced DUI charge. Depending on the circumstances, the charge could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. 

You face enhanced DUI penalties if any of the following factors are present:

  • Your blood-alcohol concentration exceeds 0.15%;
  • You have a child under the age of 14 in your car;
  • Police allege you drove 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on a street or greater than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit on a state highway;
  • Police stopped you in an enhanced safety zone or construction zone; 
  • You are under 21 years of age; or
  • You have a prior conviction for DUI.

The punishments vary depending on the facts of your case. In some instances—like having a child in your car while driving under the influence—you have to serve time in jail even if the judge gives you probation.

In other cases, the judge will impose more restrictions on you like installing an ignition interlock device in your car.

No matter what charges you face, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, can give you the best chance to get the most positive outcome for your case.

When Is a DUI a Felony?

There are situations where prosecutors can charge a DUI as a felony. A felony DUI in California has jail time that is mandatory and other potentially serious consequences. 

You could face a felony conviction if:

  • You have three or more prior convictions for DUI or related charges in the last 10 years and then receive your fourth one;
  • Someone other than you suffered an injury in a car crash you caused while driving under the influence; or
  • Another person died in a car crash you caused while driving under the influence.

Felony DUI penalties in California can include long prison sentences, huge fines, and long license suspensions. 

How to Avoid an Aggravated DUI in California 

Contact the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, for a free consultation to get started on your defense right now.

Our lawyers have over 40 years of experience defending people charged with DUI in the San Diego County area.

We have successfully tried well over one-hundred cases and can give you the advantage you need to avoid the potentially serious consequences of an aggravated DUI charge. 

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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