In Illinois, an individual caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over 0.08 or higher can be found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). An individual can also be charged with DUI if they are found to have drugs such as cocaine, cannabis or methamphetamine in their system. For more specific information on DUI Drug Charges click here
Illinois DUI law has become more complex over the years. Generally, first time DUI charges result in consequence much less harsh than subsequent DUI charges. Even still, any DUI charge comes with serious consequences. Below are the basic sentencing requirements for first and subsequent DUI charges in Illinois:
A first time DUI charge is generally a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, two years of probation, conditional discharge, or court supervision, and fines of up to $2,500.
A second time DUI is also generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. However, a second DUI comes with a mandatory conviction (court supervision is not an option) and either five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. The offense also carries either two years of probation or conditional discharge. Fines of up to $2,500 may also be assessed.
A third DUI charge is a Class 2 felony, meaning it carries a potential prison term of 3-7 years. The offense does allow for a potential sentence of 4 years of probation or conditional discharge, but court supervision is not an option. Fines of up to $25,000 may be assessed.
A fourth DUI charge is a Class 2 felony as well, however it is not eligible for probation or conditional discharge. This means that an individual convicted of a fourth DUI will be sentenced to prison for 3-7 years. Possible fines of up to $25,000 may also be assessed.
A fifth DUI charge is a Class 1 felony which is also not eligible for probation or conditional discharge. An individual convicted of a fifth DUI will face 4-15 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
A sixth DUI charge is a Class X felony which carries a mandatory 6-30 years in prison.
Illinois law doesn't stop there. Factors such as whether the accused was driving with a BAC of 0.16 or more, or whether the accused was transporting a child under the age of 16 can result in additional mandatory minimums. For example, a first time DUI that involves a BAC of 0.16 or more carries with it a minimum of 100 hours of community service and a minimum $500 fine. The community service hours are in addition to the possible penalties noted above, and while a $1,500 fine is discretionary for the Judge at sentencing, $500 is not. Still more is the fact that second time DUIs involving a BAC of 0.16 or more has even harsher penalties, regardless of whether the first DUI involved a 0.16 BAC or not.
Another factor that can add additional mandatory minimums to a DUI charge is whether, at the time of the offense, the accused was transporting a child under the age of 16. A first-time conviction for DUI while transporting a child under the age of 16 is punishable by a mandatory 6 months in jail, $1,000 fine and 25 days of community service in a program benefitting children.
For information on when first or second time DUIs may be charged as felonies, click here.
The first step to defending a DUI charge is to hire an experienced DUI attorney. The initial stages of a DUI case involve important deadlines that can be missed if you do not have an attorney on your case right away. Our office specializes in DUI and can help navigate you through the process to ensure your license and personal freedoms are protected to the utmost extent of the law. For more information on DUI criminal charges and the potential impact to your driver's license, contact our office for free by phone or text today at (815) 315-1933.