When is Driving Under the Influence a Felony in Illinois?

joliet DUI lawyersIllinois is known for its strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI). A standard first offense DUI conviction in Illinois generally results in a driver’s license suspension, a minimum fine of $1000, and up to 6 months in jail. Additionally, a person convicted of a DUI in Illinois may have to participate in community service and complete a drug and alcohol program. An aggravated DUI offense carries even harsher penalties. If you have been charged with aggravated driving under the influence in Illinois, read on to learn about what you and facing and how to get legal guidance regarding your charges.

Aggravated DUI

Although all DUI convictions are heavily penalized in Illinois, an aggravated DUI is considered a much more serious crime than a standard DUI. Aggravated DUI also differs than a regular DUI in that some convictions carry mandatory jail time. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, aggravated DUI convictions can range in classification from Class 4 Felony all the way to the most serious felony, a Class X Felony. The felony classification of an aggravated DUI depends on the offender’s criminal history and the specific details of the case.

Factors That Can Make a DUI Conviction a Felony

Any DUI conviction in Illinois comes with serious punitive consequences, but the penalties for felony DUI are even more severe. Certain elements must be present in order for a DUI to be a felony charge. In Illinois, any of the following circumstances can make result in a felony charge following a DUI arrest:

  • Driving while intoxicated in a school zone;
  • Being arrested for driving under the influence after being convicted of a DUI twice in the past;
  • Drunk driving which causes an accident which results in great bodily harm or disability to another person;
  • Driving under the influence when your driver’s license is suspended or revoked;
  • Drunk driving while driving without auto insurance;
  • Driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license; and
  • DUI following a previous conviction for reckless homicide.

Penalties and Sentencing

In Illinois, aggravated DUI convictions are subject to a maximum fine of $25,000 in addition to other penalties which vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. A Class 2 felony DUI conviction carries a prison sentence of three to seven years. A class one felony DUI is punishable by four to 15 years’ imprisonment. A Class X felony charge is reserved for the most egregious DUI cases. If you are charged with a Class X felony for aggravated DUI, you may be facing up to 30 years’ imprisonment.

Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI in Illinois, do not wait to contact a qualified Joliet DUI defense lawyer with experience defending against felony DUI charges. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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