Drinking and Driving Offenses That Lead to Felony DUI Charges in Illinois
Most of the time in Illinois, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor. If you are a first-time DUI offender and you are convicted, it is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Depending on your specific situation, a misdemeanor DUI charge could bump to a felony charge, which carries harsher penalties. Any DUI that is classified as a felony is called an aggravated DUI and can range from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony.
Class 4 Felonies
While these are the lowest felony offenses, they are still serious charges. If you are convicted of a Class 4 felony, you can face one to three years in prison. Examples of Class 4 felonies as they pertain to DUI include:
- DUI while driving a school bus carrying one or more minors;
- DUI while driving a vehicle-for-hire (such as a taxi, Uber, or Lyft) with one or more passengers;
- DUI with no valid driver’s license or permit;
- DUI with no vehicle liability insurance;
- DUI in a school zone with a crash that resulted in bodily harm;
- DUI committed while driver’s license is revoked or suspended from a previous DUI;
- DUI and crash that resulted in death (reckless homicide); and
- DUI and leaving the scene of a crash that involved personal injury or death.
Class 3 Felonies
If you are convicted of a Class 3 felony, you may face a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years in prison. Examples of Class 3 DUI felonies include:
- DUI committed after a prior conviction for reckless homicide;
- Aggravated DUI and crash that resulted in death; and
- Subsequent fraudulent driver’s license offenses.
Class 2 Felonies
If you are convicted of a Class 2 felony, you could face three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Class 2 felony examples include:
- A third or subsequent DUI;
- A second or subsequent DUI committed with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle;
- DUI committed with a child under 16 as a passenger and a crash that resulted in bodily harm to them; and
- DUI resulting in death.
Class 1 and Class X Felonies
Class 1 and Class X felonies are the most serious felony classifications. Typically, DUI charges are only classified into these categories if there are extenuating circumstances. Examples of Class 1 and Class X felonies include:
- A fifth DUI conviction will result in a Class 1 felony charge; and
- A sixth or subsequent conviction will result in a Class X felony.
A Naperville Aggravated DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help
All DUI charges are serious, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. While felony DUI charges can result in greater consequences, any DUI can severely affect your life, including the loss of driving privileges. At Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, we understand the importance of keeping your driver’s license. Our skilled St. Charles, IL DUI defense attorneys can help you build a strong defense and fight for the best possible outcome. Call our office today at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free consultation.