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What Is the Difference Between a Simple, Aggravated, and Per Se DWI?

When it comes to receiving a DWI, there are three different types that you can be charged with. You can see a charge for a simple DWI, an aggravated DWI, or a “per se” DWI. The difference boils down to how the prosecution proves you were intoxicated. If it is proven that you drove with alcohol or drugs in your system that exceeds the legal limit, this can result in a per se DWI. The other two types of DWIs require proof that your mental or physical abilities were impaired by the drugs or alcohol in your system.

What Is a Per Se DWI?

In all states, it is illegal to drive or operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. Some states also have “zero tolerance” laws that make it illegal to operate a vehicle with any amount of illegal or controlled substances in your body. If there is evidence to prove that you were driving with more than the legal amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, you can be charged with a per se DWI. This type of DWI doesn’t need proof that you were drunk or impaired.

What Is a Simple DWI?

A simple DWI involves a first-time offender who has a relatively low BAC and is also found to be impaired to the slightest degree. This means that you were not functioning at your highest degree when you were driving. This is a misdemeanor charge, as opposed to an aggravated DWI, which is a felony.

What Is an Aggravated DWI?

An aggravated DWI is the same thing as a simple DWI, but there are other “aggravating influences” that occur at the time of your arrest. These can include driving with a suspended or revoked license, driving with a minor in the car, and multiple DWI charges within a certain period of time. The penalties for aggravated DWIs vary from state to state, but it could result in the loss of your license, the loss of your vehicle, jail time, and substantial fines.

If you have been charged with any sort of a DWI, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a lawyer, like a DUI lawyer from Hallinan Law Firm. There may be elements of the charge that you can challenge to get it dropped or removed from your record. An attorney will be able to direct you on how to proceed and how the laws apply to your case.


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