Mississippi’s drunk driving laws are strict even when there is no accident involved. A short term in jail is possible even for first-time offenders, and the person will be expected to pay at least $250 in fines and attend a class on the responsible use of alcohol.
However, if there is an accident which involves a fatality or serious injury, the consequences under Mississippi’s aggravated DUI laws are severe.
For each victim seriously injured, a person will face a felony conviction, a $10,000 fine and between 5 and 25 years in prison. If parole or probation is allowed, the court will also require the person to drive with an ignition interlock device in place for at least 5 years. Of course, ignition interlock devices are installed and maintained at the person’s own expense.
The court has the option to impose these penalties separately. For example, if someone gets accused of aggravated DUI and injured two other people, she may have to spend at least 10 years and up to 50 years in prison.
Anyone can be accused of aggravated DUI
When it comes to aggravated DUI, the law allows no leniency for first-time offenders. In other words, even if an otherwise upstanding Gulfport resident happened to have one too many drinks and happened to be involved in a serious accident, he could be facing decades in prison.
This law does have some limits. For one, it requires the person accused to have engaged in some negligent driving. However, common errors, like speeding, failing to yield at an intersection and other swerving all can be considered negligent driving.
Furthermore, in order secure a conviction for aggravated DUI, the prosecutor will have to first prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver committed the crime of DUI in the first place.
Defenses are available to aggravate DUI charges. People facing the severe penalties of aggravated DUI should evaluate their legal options carefully with the help of an experienced DUI attorney.