When you are facing DUI charges, the most important thing you can do is hire an experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney. If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face serious consequences. You can be looking at a steep fine, jail time or a term of imprisonment, a mandatory ignition interlock device, and loss of your driving privileges. Even when you have completed the terms of your DUI sentence, you will have a misdemeanor or felony offense on your record depending upon the specific facts of your drunk driving case.
The following are some important things to know about the consequences of a DUI conviction.
You can Face Jail Time for a First Offense
A first-time DUI offense is a Class A misdemeanor under Illinois law. Even with a first-time offense, you can be facing up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
A second conviction can still be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, but it will come with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service.
Driving Privileges Will be Suspended
With a first offense, you will have your driving privileges suspended for six months, and a subsequent offense will result in the suspension of your driving privileges for at least one year. If you are convicted of a second offense within 20 years of the first offense, your driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of five years.
Aggravated DUI Can Mean Felony Charges
If certain facts or elements are present in your DUI case, you can be charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are charged with an aggravated DUI, you will be facing felony charges. The following are all facts that can result in aggravated DUI charges:
- You are facing a third or subsequent DUI offense;
- You are charged with a DUI while driving a school bus with one or more passengers on board the school bus;
- You are facing DUI charges in connection with a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, and intoxicated driving was the proximate cause of the collision;
- You have previously been convicted of reckless driving;
- You have been charged with a DUI while driving in a school zone;
- You have been charged with a DUI connected with a collision you caused in which another person was killed;
- You have been charged with a DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license;
- You have been charged with a Dui when you do not have a driver’s license;
- You drove when you knew or should have known that the vehicle was not insured;
- You drove with a child under the age of 16, and the child was injured;
- You are facing a second or subsequent DUI and you drove with a child under the age of 16 in the car (even if the child was not injured); or
- You have been charged with a DUI while driving other people for hire (i.e., you were driving a taxi or a rideshare vehicle).
Depending upon the specific aggravating factor, you could be facing anywhere from Class 4 felony charges to Class 2 felony charges. A Class 4 felony conviction—the least serious of the felony offenses—will result in a prison sentence of one to four years and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, your license will be suspended. A Class 3 felony can result in a prison sentence of two to five years, and a Class 2 felony can result in a prison sentence of three to seven years.
Contact an Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer
The consequences of a DUI conviction should make absolutely clear to you just how critical it is to have an aggressive Illinois DUI defense attorney on your side who can help you to develop the strongest defense strategy based on the circumstances of your arrest. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus today.