Repeat DUI Offenses in Illinois
If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois after one or more previous convictions, it’s important to have a seasoned criminal defense lawyer on your side, explaining exactly what’s at stake, managing the complex legal procedures associated with a criminal charge, protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome.
While a first offense DUI is charged as a misdemeanor unless certain special circumstances apply, both the charges and the possible penalties escalate for repeat offenses. Unlike many states, Illinois does not have a re-set point after which a DUI charge is treated as a first offense. A repeat offense occurring years after the original conviction still carries enhanced penalties, and some repeat offenses may carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Fighting Repeat DUI Charges
The possible consequences for a repeat DUI offense may be intimidating, but help is available. I’ll put two decades of legal experience to work for you, measuring the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case against you, advising you of your options and then protecting your rights throughout the process.
Depending on the specifics of the case, we may:
- Work with the prosecuting attorney to reach a favorable plea agreement;
- Move for dismissal of the charges—for example, by arguing that the officer did not have reasonable cause to stop your vehicle;
- Move to exclude evidence—for example, by demonstrating that the officer did not properly advice you before administering a chemical test, or challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer test machine; or
- Holding the prosecution to its high burden of proof at trial.
There’s a lot at stake, but you have options. Don’t take chances with your future. Schedule a free consultation right now by calling 630-479-7100 or completing our contact form.
Second Offense DUI Charges
Conviction for Driving Under the Influence for the second time carries a mandatory five days in jail or 240 hours of community service, in addition to any other penalties. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .16% or more at the time of the second offense, there is a mandatory minimum of 2 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,250.
Barring special circumstances, a second offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which means a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.
Felony Repeat DUI Offenses – Aggravated Driving Under the Influence
A third or subsequent DUI offense is classified as Aggravated DUI and will be charged as a felony, with increasingly serious consequences.
Third Offense DUI
A third DUI offense in Illinois is charged as a Class 2 felony, meaning a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison and a potential fine of up to $25,000. If the driver’s BAC is .16% or greater, a third offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail and a minimum fine of $2,500.
Fourth Offense DUI
A fourth Driving Under the Influence offense is also charged as a Class 2 felony, with a maximum possible sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the defendant’s BAC is .16% or greater, a minimum fine of $5,000 must be assessed.
Fifth Offense DUI
A fifth DUI crime is a Class 1 felony, carrying a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $25,000. In addition, if the driver’s BAC was higher than .16%, a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 will be imposed.
Sixth and Subsequent DUI Offenses
A sixth or subsequent Driving Under the Influence charge is a Class X felony. This is the most serious classification of a felony in the state of Illinois, and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years. If the defendant’s BAC is .16% or greater, there is also a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.
Additional Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenses
In addition to the penalties described above, any DUI conviction or breathalyzer test refusal will result in a driver’s license suspension, and may result in additional costs such as ignition interlock.
In some cases, mandatory minimum penalties may be more severe than those listed above. For example, if the defendant was transporting a person under the age of 16 at the time of the offense, a period of community service and a fine of $25,000 are mandated. Mandatory minimum sentences may also apply in cases involving bodily harm.
Indirect Consequences of DUI Conviction
The penalties imposed by law are significant, but a DUI conviction may carry additional costs as well. For example, automobile insurance rates generally increase significantly, and your current carrier may decline to renew your policy altogether. You may also find yourself disqualified from certain occupations based on your DUI convictions.
If you’ve been charged with a repeat DUI offense, you’re at risk for serious consequences. You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Just call 630-479-7100 or complete the contact form on this site to schedule a free consultation.