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Felony DUI in Illinois

While driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is typically charged as a misdemeanor in Illinois, it can be treated as a felony offense under specific circumstances. Thousands of people are killed in alcohol-related crashes every year, so Illinois is tough on those who drink and drive. First-time offenders may be treated more leniently, but subsequent arrests could result in an extended loss of driving privileges, high fines, and even years in prison. 

If you are charged with felony DUI in Illinois, you should seek legal representation right away. The experienced DUI lawyers at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have the knowledge, resources, and ability to advocate that you need on your side to face these damaging charges and obtain the best outcome for your situation.

When is DUI a Felony in Illinois?

As explained above, driving under the influence in Illinois is most often charged as a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, you face a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine of $2,500.00 plus mandatory court assessments. While a second offender may still be charged with misdemeanor DUI, you may face harsher penalties.

A felony DUI is a criminal charge that is considered an ‘aggravated’ offense. This means that there are factors involved that increase the severity of the charge. These offenses range from Class 4 felonies to Class X felonies, which are the most severe.

Felony DUIs

Felony DUIs are also known as Aggravated DUIs. They generally can occur as follows:

  • DUI for a third or subsequent time

  • DUI committed with a suspended or revoked driver’s license

  • DUI committed without a valid license or permit

  • DUI that causes great bodily harm, disfigurement, permanent disability or death

  • DUI committed without auto liability insurance 

  • DUI in a school zone where the speed limit is restricted, causing a crash that results in injury

  • DUI while driving a school bus with at least one child in the vehicle

  • DUI with a minor under 16 in the car, which results in bodily injury to the child passenger

A felony DUI can fall into one of 4 categories (Class 4, Class 3, Class 2, Class 1 and Class X), generally depending on the number of prior DUI offenses.

Class 4 Felony DUI

As the least serious felony charge, a Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.00. A Class 4 DUI is probationable.

Class 3 Felony DUI

If you’re convicted of Class 3 felony DUI in Illinois, you face up to five years in state prison and a $25,000.00 fine. A Class 3 felony is not probationable. An offender with a prior reckless homicide DUI conviction or an aggravated DUI conviction involving death faces a Class 3 felony charge.

Class 2 Felony DUI

Those convicted of a Class 2 felony could be sentenced to three to seven years in prison and fined up to $25,000.00. Depending on the number of prior DUIs, a Class 2 felony may or may not be probationable. You can be charged with a Class 2 felony DUI in Illinois under circumstances including the following:

  • You are arrested for a third or subsequent DUI

  • You were convicted of DUI before, transported a minor in your vehicle, and caused the child to suffer bodily harm

If you were charged with a DUI motor vehicle accident resulting in death, you face three to fourteen years if the DUI resulted in the death of one person. If two or more people were killed, the potential prison sentence increases to twenty-eight years, with a minimum sentence of six years. Probation may not be granted unless extraordinary circumstances exist.

Class 1 Felony DUI

If convicted of a Class 1 DUI felony, you could face four to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00. This offense is non-probationable and applies to offenders who have been arrested for a fifth or subsequent DUI.

Class X Felony DUI

Class X felony DUIs are the most serious types of felony charges. You can be sentenced to six to thirty years in prison and fined up to $25,000.00. This offense is non-probationable. A sixth or subsequent DUI conviction is classified as a Class X felony. 

FAQSWhat is Aggravated DUI?

When a DUI results in a felony charge, it is classified as an aggravated DUI. A conviction for aggravated DUI carries a maximum fine of $25,000.00 and a mandatory minimum of 10 days in county jail or 480 hours of community service, but actual and additional penalties vary based on the circumstances.

An aggravated DUI lawyer at The Davis Law Group, P.C. can help you address these damaging charges and mitigate their impact on your future. 

How Does Felony DUI in Illinois Affect My Driving Privileges? 

Generally, a DUI conviction, regardless of whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor results in the same license penalties. For example:

  • A third DUI conviction results in the revocation of your license for a minimum period of ten years. Additionally, you are required to drive with a restricted driving permit (RDP) and on a Breath Alcohol Ignition Device (BAIID) for a period of five-years or until the ten-year date has passed, whichever is longer before being eligible to be considered for reinstatement.

  • In the case of a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction, your license is revoked for life. In some circumstances, you may be able to apply for an RDP after five-years.

  • For aggravated DUI that results in death, your license is revoked for a minimum period of two-years. There is no RDP available during this period. Application for a RDP subject to the use of a BAIID device is possible after two-years from the date of the revocation or two-years after the date you are released from prison, whichever is later.

If your license is revoked after a conviction, a felony DUI lawyer can help you understand and follow the complex requirements for reinstatement.

Can I Get a Felony DUI Expunged in Illinois?

If you’ve been charged with a felony DUI, you are understandably worried about the impact on your future. A criminal background check is often a key part of applying for some jobs, seeking an apartment, or applying for certain licenses. 

If you were convicted of a DUI offense (either a felony or misdemeanor conviction), you are not eligible to have your record expunged or sealed. However, if the charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty, a felony DUI lawyer at The Davis Law Group, P.C. can help you initiate the expungement process once any required waiting period is met.

You Need a Felony DUI Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

Felony DUI charges trigger two legal processes in Illinois: a civil and criminal process. Civil penalties include the initial loss of driving privileges under the summary suspension law, while criminal penalties can include fines and jail time. Having an experienced aggravated DUI lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome.

A DUI defense lawyer will, first and foremost, know your options, what steps to take, and what defenses may be available to help you avoid conviction or minimize the criminal consequences of your arrest. Even if you are aware you made a mistake, there may be valid grounds for reducing or dismissing your felony DUI charges.

The Davis Law Group, P.C. may be able to defend you against felony DUI charges by challenging the grounds for your arrest. This includes disputing the breathalyzer results/field sobriety tests as well as the police assessment of your impairment. Although every case is different, we have a great deal of experience analyzing the evidence and developing a successful strategy.

Arrested for DUI? Speak to a Felony DUI Defense Lawyer in Chicago.

The consequences of a DUI felony conviction in Illinois are serious. It can result in revocation of your driver’s license, years of imprisonment, thousands of dollars in fines, and long-term consequences for your criminal and driving record. Your best course of action begins with hiring a criminal defense attorney who thoroughly understands Illinois drunk driving laws and can help you present a strong defense.

The Davis Law Group, P.C. is a top-rated criminal defense law firm that can handle the most complex drunk driving charges. Our team of experienced lawyers is committed to providing skilled and effective representation to all our clients, regardless of the severity of their charges. To schedule a free initial consultation about your case, please call (847) 807-1169 or contact us online. We represent clients in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, and beyond.

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