We are familiar with routine stops or investigations of DUI offenses. This is a scenario in which a law enforcement officer witnesses a suspect swerving in his or her vehicle. In this occurrence, no one sustains any injury and the driver is pulled off the road before any such harm occurs. However, when a DUI is committed under certain circumstances, making the crime worse or more serious than it would otherwise be, then the crime is aggravated. Most offenses can rise to the level of aggravation. For example, a simple assault can become aggravated if the defendant brandishes a gun while committing the assault. Aggravated offenses, like aggravated DUI, will expose the offender to harsher penalties.
Under Mississippi law, any person who operates a vehicle while under the influence and operates the vehicle in a negligent manner is guilty of aggravated DUI if the act causes the death, mutilation, or permanent disability of another person. The aggravation aspect of the event is charged as a separate felony and carries separate penalties.
(5) Aggravated DUI. (a) Every person who operates any motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section and who in a negligent manner causes the death of another or mutilates, disfigures, permanently disables or destroys the tongue, eye, lip, nose or any other limb, organ or member of another shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a separate felony for each victim who suffers death, mutilation, disfigurement or other injury
Mississippi Code Annotated Section 63-11-30 (5)
Aggravated DUI offenses come in many forms. Another example of an aggravated DUI offense involves a traffic stop and a DUI investigation when the driver is unable to produce a valid driver's license. Driving intoxicated in a school zone is also charged as an aggravated offense. Similarly, operators of school buses are subject to the same charge if found driving under the influence. In Mississippi, it is an aggravated offense to have prior DUI convictions within a certain time period.
A person who is found guilty of aggravated DUI is guilty of a felony. This is without regard to any prior DUI-related offenses. This scenario usually involves death or serious bodily injury to another. The person is subject to five to 25 years in prison. After release from incarceration, the person must obtain an ignition interlock system as a restriction to his or her license for a period of five years or more. These harsher penalties, even for first time offenders, are warranted due to the harm caused or due to the taking of a human life. It also serves as a deterrent to the public.
Your DUI Attorney
Attorney James Robert Ferguson can answer all your DUI-related questions. He is a seasoned defense attorney with years of experience fighting drug and alcohol DUI cases. He understands that the stakes are high and the importance of putting the DUI charge behind you. That is why he provides aggressive legal representation for individuals just like you. Call us now for a consultation.