Understanding the Different Types of Aggravated DUI Charges
Driving under the influence (DUI) is not a uniform charge. Rather, there are many different factors that affect how a specific incident of alleged drunk driving is charged. These include the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest, his or her age, whether the driver has previous DUI charges on his or her record, and whether the drunk driving caused a victim to suffer an injury or death.
A “regular” first time DUI is charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. However, there are circumstances under which a first offense DUI may be charged as a felony. Specific factors that cause a DUI charge to be “upgraded” are known as aggravating factors. An upgraded DUI charge is known as an aggravated DUI.
When a DUI is a Class 2 Felony
DUI is charged as a Class 2 felony under the following circumstances:
- When a driver is charged with DUI for the third or subsequent time;
- When the driver is charged with his or her second or subsequent DUI while a child under age 16 is in the vehicle;
- When the driver is involved in a collision and injures a passenger under the age of 16; and
- When the intoxicated driving resulted in a victim’s death.
When a DUI is a Class 3 Felony
DUI can be charged as a Class 3 felony when the driver has a previous conviction for aggravated DUI resulting in death or reckless homicide on his or her record.
When a DUI is a Class 4 Felony
A driver can face a Class 4 felony, the lowest-level felony charge in Illinois, when one of the following circumstances applies to his or her case:
- At the time of the DUI arrest, the driver’s license was suspended for leaving the scene of an accident, DUI, or reckless homicide;
- The driver was arrested for DUI while speeding in a school zone and caused a victim to suffer bodily harm;
- The driver did not have liability insurance on his or her vehicle at the time of the arrest;
- The driver did not have a valid driver’s license or driving permit at the time of the DUI arrest;
- The driver was driving a school bus carrying one or more passengers under age 18;
- The driver’s actions caused an accident that resulted in significant bodily injury, disability, or disfigurement to a victim; or
- The driver was operating a for-hire vehicle with one or more passengers in the vehicle.
Work With an Experienced Naperville Aggravated DUI Defense Attorney
When you are charged with DUI, it is in your best interests to fight the charge with the help of an experienced St. Charles DUI defense lawyer. To learn more about your legal rights and options when you are facing a DUI charge, contact the team at Donahue & Sowa by calling 630-505-5200 to schedule your initial legal consultation in our office.