If so, it is imperative that you understand the reason why your charges are “aggravated” as well as the possible penalties you face if you are convicted of those charges.
If you have been charged with an aggravated drunk driving offense, contact our Nebraska DUI defense team today by calling 402-234-8323 or by filling out our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.
The Nebraska DUI Basics
As you probably already know, it is illegal to operate a vehicle in Nebraska with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater.
If you submit to a chemical test and the results show a BAC over 0.08 percent, you will almost certainly be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
Aggravated DUI in Nebraska
A motorist’s BAC level can be significantly higher than 0.08 percent, and the higher it is, the more dangerous it is for that individual to be operating a vehicle.
With that in mind, many states, including Nebraska, provide for increased penalties if a defendant’s BAC level is above a certain percentage.
In Nebraska, a BAC level above 0.15 percent (almost double the “legal limit”) raises the offense to an aggravated DUI, which increases the penalties if convicted of that offense as follows:
1st Offense Aggravated DUI in Nebraska
- Charged as a class W misdemeanor
- Minimum jail time of 7 days
- Maximum jail time 60 days
- Fine of $500
- License suspension of one year
- Alcohol assessment and treatment if deemed necessary
- Shall apply for an ignition interlock device
- If you are given probation you must pay a $500 fine, lose your license for a year, and either do two days in jail or perform 120 hours of community service work
2nd Offense Aggravated DUI in Nebraska
- Charged as a Class I misdemeanor
- Minimum jail time 90 days
- Maximum jail time one year
- Fine of $1,000
- 1-15 year license revocation
- If you are given probation, you will lose your license for 1-15 years; however, you may apply for an ignition interlock device after 45 days. You will also have to pay a $1,000 fine and do 30 days in jail.
3rd – 5th Offense Aggravated DUI in Nebraska
- Charged as a Class IIIA – Class II felony
- Minimum jail time 180 days
- Maximum jail time 50 years
- 15-year license revocation
- If probation is given, you must do 60-180 days in jail depending on the level of offense with 60-180 days of CAM after release, license revocation of 5-15 years with an application for interlock device after 45 days and payment of $1,000 fine.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Nebraska
In addition to a motorist’s BAC level, when a DUI results in serious bodily injury in Nebraska the offense is also aggravated and additional penalties apply.
Just because you were involved in a collision does not always raise the offense to an aggravated offense.
It is important to understand how the state defines “serious bodily injury” when the term applies to a DUI offense.
“Serious bodily injury” is defined by statute as “bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, or which involves substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.”
The increased penalties that may be imposed include:
- Charged as a Class IIIA Felony
- Up to three years in jail
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Driving privileges revoked for 60 days to 15 years with a mandatory minimum revocation period of 60 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Felony DUI in Nebraska?
A felony DUI means that you have two or more prior DUI convictions within 15 years and recorded a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or greater, or you have three or more DUI convictions within the last 15 years.
Additionally, you could face the felonies of motor vehicle homicide or DUI causing serious bodily injury if an accident occurred and someone died or sustained a serious injury.
How long Do You Stay in Jail for DUI in Nebraska?
The length of any jail sentence you must serve depends on the charges you face. Even for a first offense, you could serve 7 to 60 days in jail.
In Nebraska, aggravated DUI penalties allow for a significant amount of jail time.
An aggravated DUI in Nebraska is any offense involving a chemical test where the BAC registered at 0.15% or greater and any offense based on a prior conviction.
If it is your first offense, you could go to jail for 7 to 60 days. Even if you receive probation, you have to go to jail for two days or perform 120 hours of community service.
The amount of time in jail also increases with each subsequent conviction. The Nebraska DUI lookback period is 15 years.
So even if you finished your probation and had your license fully reinstated, you can face an aggravated DUI charge if you have prior offenses.
Depending on the number of convictions you have in the past 15 years and the results of your chemical test, you could get a prison sentence of up to 50 years.
Is a 3rd DUI a Felony in Nebraska?
A third DUI charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. The severity of the charge depends on your BAC at the time of your arrest.
You would face a Class IIIA felony if your BAC reading was 0.15% or higher. In Nebraska, a Class IIIA felony carries up to three years in prison with a minimum of 180 days.
The judge could place you on probation or suspend your sentence even if you have a Class IIIA felony charge.
However, you must still spend 60 days in jail and wear an alcohol-testing device for 60 days to ensure sobriety. You will also lose your license for 5 to 15 years.
What Happens if You Get a 4th DUI in Nebraska?
A fourth DUI offense in Nebraska is a Class IIIA felony.
The maximum penalty for a fourth DUI conviction is three years in prison with a minimum of 180 days. You could also pay a $10,000 fine and lose your license for up to 15 years.
The charge would become a Class IIA felony if your BAC was 0.15% or higher. That means you could get a one-year minimum sentence up to a maximum of 20 years.
How Do I Get Out of a DUI in Nebraska?
A knowledgeable and skilled DUI lawyer in Nebraska can help you determine the best defense strategy for your case.
Your best chance of getting out of a DUI lies in working closely with a seasoned DUI lawyer like Tom Petersen.
Attorney Petersen is an award-winning DUI lawyer from Omaha. He has extensive experience fighting for people just like you.
Contact an Omaha Aggravated DUI Attorney at Petersen Criminal Defense Law
Since 1995, Petersen Criminal Defense Law has helped our clients by fighting for their legal rights and striving to get them the justice they deserve.