In an effort to standardize sentencing, the Nebraska Legislature have created minimum sentencing requirements for DUI offenses. Judges are required to use the minimum sentence as a starting point. Several factors may qualify a particular case for a sentence enhancement which will increase the sentencing range.
Some of the most common factors include:
- Criminal history – If you have prior DUI convictions in Nebraska or similar charges from another state, those priors can be used to increase the penalties for the current offense. The State will file the current DUI charge with allegations that you have been convicted before in certain locations on specific dates. The number of priors determine if you are facing a first, second or up DUI charge.
- Breath Result – If the breath test result was higher than .015, then the DUI is called an Aggravated DUI. The penalties are greatly increased for aggravated DUI offense also known as “super drunk driving”.
- DUI While DUI Pending – If you are caught drunk driving while you have another DUI pending, then Nebraska law provides that neither offense is eligible for a sentence of probation. A mandatory minimum jail sentence is required of the Court.
- Serious Bodily Injury or Death – If you are involved in an accident that causes serious bodily injury or death to a person or unborn child with a breath test over the legal limit, then Nebraska law increases the offense to a felony.
Understanding what facts and circumstances increase DUI penalties in Omaha is crucial when deciding whether or not to take your case to trial or accept a plea agreement.