Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is DUI a Felony in Illinois? What You Need to Know About DUI Before the Holidays

If you’re like many people who have been accused of drunk driving, you’re wondering: Is DUI a felony in Illinois?

The answer?

Sometimes.

Is DUI a Felony in Illinois?

DUI is a felony in Illinois under certain circumstances. (DUI cases are on the rise right now because of the holiday season. Holiday DUI charges are particularly stressful, and understandably so; the laws are extremely strict, and the penalties of a conviction are harsh.)

If someone else is injured or dies as a result of you drinking and driving, it’s considered aggravated DUI—and that’s a felony. It’s also considered aggravated DUI if it’s your third or subsequent offense.

DUI felonies that involve great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement following a crash are Class 4 felonies. The penalties can include up to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.

If this is your third (or fourth, or fifth…) DUI, it’s a Class 2 felony and carries a minimum 10-year loss of your full driving privileges. You’re also facing between 18 and 30 months behind bars, though you could spend up to seven years in jail, and you could be fined up to $25,000.

Special Circumstances That Make DUI a Felony

In addition to the circumstances listed above, you could be facing a DUI felony if:

  • It’s your second offense but you have an earlier conviction of an alcohol-related reckless homicide offense.
  • You were driving in a school zone and you were involved in an accident that caused another person bodily harm.
  • You caused the death of another person.
  • Your driver’s license was suspended or revoked for one of the following: a prior DUI conviction, leaving the scene of an accident that involved death or personal injury, or reckless homicide.
  • You had an expired or invalid driver’s license, or you never had a driver’s license.
  • You did not have car insurance.
  • You were involved in an accident that resulted in bodily harm to a passenger who was younger than 16 at the time of the incident.

What to Do if You’re Charged With Felony DUI in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, or Skokie

If you’re charged with a felony DUI in Rolling Meadows, Skokie, or Chicago, your best bet is most likely to talk to a DUI lawyer who understands these types of cases—and who’s willing to fight hard to help you.

Call us at 847-920-4540 immediately if you’re being accused of felony DUI (or any other DUI, for that matter). We can help you, so don’t wait. If it's easier, you can also contact us online for a free DUI case review.

 


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