Aggravating Circumstances in a Los Angeles DUI

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you have not yet been convicted. The court must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of two elements: 1) driving AND 2) intoxicated.  The potential sentence as it is outlined under statutory authority is in a range. This is because the specific sentence for each individual will depend on a myriad of factors, including the specific facts of their case and their criminal background.

If you are facing a conviction ,or have been convicted and are facing sentencing, it is crucial that you consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The knowledge and experience of a trained professional can provide you with the guidance you need for a thorough analysis of your case and an effective argument for the least possible sentence.

In addition to the general range of sentencing outlined in the California Vehicle Code §23152 and 23153, there are additional factors that could result in an additional sentence. These arise out of the facts of your arrest.


If you were driving at a reckless speed at the time of arrest, this speeding will add to your sentence. This is not just a few miles over the speed limit, but it must be significant or higher speeds.

Prior DUI

If you have been arrested and convicted previously for a DUI, then that could impact the sentence of your current DUI. This has to be a conviction, and not just a prior arrest.

Children present

If there are children present in the vehicle at the time of arrest and at the time you were driving intoxicated, this will add to your sentence.


If you cause serious injury to another person while driving intoxicated, this could factor into your charge. It can also be charged as a felony.


If you refuse to take the blood alcohol test administered after your arrest at the police station, this could lead to additional sentencing. This test is not voluntary, unlike the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test administered at the scene. You will be advised that this test is mandatory, and that refusing to take it could result in potentially additional sentencing if convicted.

In certain situations factors can lead to additional convictions and not just additional sentencing. This means that you will not only be charged with a Los Angeles DUI, but also an additional separate charge for which you will need representation, and for which you will receive a separate case number and separate sentence.

Probation Violation

If you are currently on probation for a prior DUI, or a prior criminal offense, then a new conviction will trigger an additional charge of a probation violation. This is not an aggravating circumstance like the others discussed in this section, but it is by itself, its own separate charge that must be argued and may carry with it, its own separate sentence.

Suspended License

If you are driving with a suspended license, and you are arrested for a DUI, you will be charged with two separate charges.

These additional factors should be taken very seriously as they can prolong your jail sentence, or significantly increase your probation or fine. If you find yourself in this situation, hire a Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible so that they can use their experience and knowledge to skillfully reduce your sentence.