Prosecutors may add sentencing enhancements to a drunk driving complaint if the motorist had children in the car, was involved in an accident, or was speeding prior to arrest. Sentencing enhancements can add substantially to the punishment meted out in a drinking and driving case, so it’s important to consult with a California attorney skilled in defending DUI / DWI cases.
Speeding enhancements are usually added in Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases where the driver was cited for exceeding the speed limit on the freeway by 30 mph or more, or 20 mph or more on a surface street or highway.
Some drivers accused of speeding may also be charged with reckless driving. If both allegations are found to be true, the motorist faces 60 days in jail in addition to any other punishment handed out.
However, like the underlying drunk driving charge, speeding and reckless driving enhancements must be proven. To prove reckless driving, the prosecutor must establish that the driver had willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property, and wasn’t merely driving too fast.
In some Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases that involve sentencing enhancements such as speeding, the driver may want to consider a plea bargain if one is offered. In a negotiated plea agreement, the driver pleads guilty in exchange for a reduced charge or sentence.
Because of the severe penalties possible in a drunk driving case with sentencing enhancements, it’s important to have competent legal representation. A lawyer experienced in defending drunk driving cases can determine the best possible defense and help to minimize negative consequences.