A sentence enhancement is a condition or circumstance where you will face heavier DUI penalties than normal.
The penalties for DUI are complex. California has several DUI laws, but even if two people are charged under the same law, they could face very different sentences. This is due in large part to “sentence enhancements.” Sentence enhancements are special circumstances that allow a DUI to be treated differently than it normally would, and carry a stiffer sentence. They are meant to act as extra punishments for drivers that are particularly reckless or dangerous.
Examples of penalty enhancers include:
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test after arrest
- Having a BAC higher than .15% (nearly twice the legal limit)
- Having a minor in the car with you
- Reckless driving or excessive speeding
The penalties are different for each sentence enhancement. You can face multiple enhancements on a single DUI charge. You will still face the normal DUI penalties, but also additional consequence such as:
- Longer license suspension
- Longer jail time
- Additional fines
The most serious sentence enhancement is repeat DUIs. If you have prior DUIs on your record in a 10-year period, you will face much tougher sentences than you otherwise would.
You can learn more about DUI sentence enhancements here: What is a DUI “sentence enhancement”?
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