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What is a "sentence enhancement"? How does a judge decide how severe a sentence to give?


A: A "sentence enhancement" is given when the judge decides that there is sufficient reason to give a person a harsher penalty. In any given state, the law says that when certain factors are present, the person has to pay a heavier fine, serve a longer sentence in jail or the person's license will be revoked for a longer period of time. Common factors that lead to sentence enhancements are: 1) prior DUI convictions 2) the presence of a child in the car 3) speeding while driving under the influence 4) driving recklessly 5) a BAC a certain amount over the legal limit 6) causing an accident 7) causing a fatal accident