Is a DUI a felony in Illinois? In our state, most DUIs are a misdemeanor. Today, O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet shares a bit about DUIs so you understand what happens if you are facing such charges. You’re also welcome to contact our attorneys to discuss your case and determine if our knowledgeable legal team can help protect your rights.
If you are pulled over and have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, you could be charged with a DUI. Though most DUIs are classified as Class A misdemeanors and come with a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2500, there are instances where a DUI may be a felony.
When is a DUI a Felony in Illinois?
The first time you are convicted of a DUI, it is considered a misdemeanor. The second DUI conviction within 20 years is still considered a misdemeanor, but it carries tough penalties that include a 5-year loss of full driving privileges, 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service, along with additional possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,500. A third DUI becomes a Class 2 felony.
Class 2 Felony
There are a few additional instances in which a DUI becomes a Class 2 Felony:
- If this is your second or subsequent DUI and you were transporting a child under the age of 16.
- If you are driving a vehicle while transporting a child under 16 and they were injured as a result of a crash while you were driving under the influence, even if it is your first DUI.
If you are facing a DUI charge and need a defense attorney, contact us at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet. We have lawyers who can help you face this difficult legal challenge.
Class 4 Felony
There are instances when an Aggravated DUI is considered a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies can carry a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Here are some of the instances in which state law allows for charging someone with a Class 4 felony:
- If a person commits a DUI with any passengers under the age of 14 or while driving a school bus.
- If a person was driving a vehicle for hire with any passengers when committing a DUI offense.
- If a DUI results in permanent disability, disfigurement, or bodily harm. Additionally, your license could be revoked for 2 years.
- If a person is driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license, including suspended or revoked licenses, or without vehicle liability insurance.
There are additional instances where a driver can be charged with a Class 4 felony as well as times where higher-class felony charges are permitted. Higher-class felony charges include longer sentences and severe long-term penalties.
Is a DUI a felony in Illinois? It absolutely can be – and come with harsh penalties. If you or someone you know is facing a possible felony conviction for a DUI, contact us at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet for a consultation to determine your best course of action.