When Does a DUI Become Felony in Illinois?

joliet DUI lawyerMost DUI charges in Illinois are only misdemeanor charges. A first-time DUI conviction is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by law with a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Each case is different and depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you charges could be bumped up to felony charges.

Class 4 Felonies

Class 4 DUI felonies include:

  • A DUI committed while driving a school bus that had at least one passenger on it who was under the age of 18;
  • A DUI committed while driving a vehicle used to transport passengers and at least one passenger was on board;
  • A DUI that resulted in great bodily harm;
  • A DUI that was committed by someone who did not have a valid driver’s license or vehicle liability insurance;
  • A DUI committed in a school zone when the restricted speed limit was in effect and the person was involved in an accident that resulted in bodily harm; and
  • A DUI committed by someone whose license was already revoked or suspended for a different DUI, reckless homicide or fleeing the scene of an accident.

Penalties for Class 4 felonies can vary depending on the specific charges, but they can include a possible sentence of one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000. If you were charged with an aggravated DUI involving an injury, you could be facing up to 12 years in prison.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 felonies are a step up from Class 4 felonies and can include:

  • A DUI committed after a previous conviction for reckless homicide while driving under the influence; and
  • A DUI committed after a previous conviction for aggravated DUI involving a death.

Penalties for a Class 3 felony can result in a prison sentence of two to five years and up to $25,000 in fines.

Class 2 Felonies

Any DUI conviction that is your third or fourth conviction is automatically a Class 2 felony. In addition, Class 2 felonies can include:

  • A second or subsequent DUI that was committed while transporting a child under the age of 16;
  • A DUI resulting in a death;
  • A third DUI

Depending on your actual charges, you could be facing a minimum of three years in prison along with up to $25,000 in fines.

Class 1 Felony

A fifth conviction of a DUI is considered a Class 1 felony and will result in the revocation of your driving privileges for life. It is a non-probationable offense, which means you will go to prison if you are found guilty. You could also be facing up to $25,000 in fines.

Class X Felony

A sixth or subsequent DUI conviction is a Class X felony, which is the most serious classification of felony. A conviction will result in a revocation of your driving privileges for the rest of your life along with a minimum of six years in prison up to a maximum of 30 years in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines.

Are You Facing Felony DUI Charges?

If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI, you should immediately contact a skilled Joliet aggravated DUI defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. to determine your best course of action for your case. Attorney Jack Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor who has extensive experience with DUI cases. To schedule a free consultation, call the office at 815-740-4025.

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