Many things can have big impacts in a DWI case. One is whether the prosecution is arguing that the alleged offense involved any aggravating factors.

Why do aggravating factors matter?

In Minnesota DWI law, the number of such factors present is one of the things that dictates what degree a DWI offense would fall under.

For example, one such factor being present would generally raise an offense to being third-degree DWI rather than fourth degree. What degree a drunk driving crime falls under impacts what consequences a person could face if convicted. So, what is being alleged when it comes to aggravating factors can have big impacts on the seriousness of a given set of DWI accusations.

What counts as an aggravating factor?

State law specifies three main things as such factors:

  • Past Offenses: A qualifying previous impaired driving incident is an aggravating factor if it happened within ten years of the current alleged DWI. As a note, if multiple such incidents occurred within this period, each one counts as its own separate factor.
  • A High BAC: Driving with a BAC of over 0.16 is an aggravating factor.
  • Child in the vehicle: A DUI offense occurring with a child under 16 in the vehicle is an aggravating factor. One exception is that it isn’t if the driver is less than three years older than the child.

When DUI allegations leveled against a person involve any aggravating factors, it is important for him or her to have an accurate picture of what this means for his or her case and defense options. This is one of the many areas in which the guidance of skilled defense attorney can be a big help.