Felony DUI in Illinois
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a serious charge in Illinois. While DUI convictions have a lot of consequences, including fines, potential jail time, license suspension, higher insurance and other consequences. Typically, in Illinois, a DUI will be a misdemeanor, but there are some situations where the DUI will be a felony and therefore the penalties will be even stiffer.
Definition of DUI
Illinois has one statute under which all DUIs are punished, however, there are different punishments for different kinds of DUIs, depending on the circumstances. DUI can be charged when there is evidence of the driver being intoxicated or when the blood or breath alcohol content is .08 or more, whether or not the person shows any other signs of intoxication.
Felony DUI Based on Prior Convictions and Penalties
There are several different ways that a DUI can be charged as a felony. One way is if the driver has already been convicted of two other DUIs. While under most circumstances the first two DUI convictions will be misdemeanors, a third DUI conviction is a Class 2 felony. Class 2 felonies are punishable by three to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, license revocation for at least 10 years, and/or up to four years of probation.
A fourth DUI is also a Class 2 felony with similar penalties to a third DUI, but without the option of probation and with possible lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Subsequent DUIs are punished even more harshly.
Aggravated DUI is a DUI when there is one of several, aggravating factors present. These DUIs are all felonies, but the specific charge and penalties will depend on which aggravating factor is present and other circumstances of the offense. Aggravating factors include:
- A DUI where the intoxicated driver causes an accident that results in permanent disability or great bodily harm;
- A DUI where the intoxicated driver is the cause of the death of another person due to his or her intoxicated driving;
- A DUI during the time period when a person’s driver’s license has been revoked or suspended due to a previous DUI;
- A DUI while driving without a valid license;
- Driving a school bus with children on board while under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance;
- A DUI causing a car accident in a school zone and the intoxicated driver causes great bodily harm; and
- A second or subsequent DUI with a person under 18 on board.
Contact Us for Help Today
If you are charged with a DUI, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, you need a knowledgeable DUI criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges. Our passionate Naperville criminal defense attorneys at Donahue & Sowa can help to get your charges reduced or dismissed.