Aggravated DWI is a more serious form of 1st offense DWI where there is an aggravating factor. The aggravating factor elevates the serious of the offense from a class B misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor. That is a huge difference. For a class B misdemeanor DWI-1st, there is no possibility of jail time after conviction. For a class A misdemeanor aggravated DWI, jail time is mandatory and the maximum jail sentence is 12 months in the house of correction.
There are three factors that can elevate a DWI to an Aggravated DWI:
A traffic accident, standing alone, is not an aggravating factor. But if a person, including the accused driver, sustains serious bodily injury in the accident, that will elevate the offense to a class B Felony Aggravated DWI. Read more about Felony DWI here.
In cases where the police draw blood, or seek the results of a hospital blood draw for medical purposes, the blood alcohol results may not come back from the NH State Forensic Laboratory for as long as 6-8 weeks. In those cases, the police may first file a charge of class B misdemeanor DWI-1st. But if the blood results come back .16 or higher, the police can and will upgrade the charge to Aggravated DWI.
Read more about the potential penalties for Aggravated and other levels of DWI offenses here.
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