What constitutes a Felony DUI in our state, and how is it different from a misdemeanor DUI in Illinois?In Illinois, a Felony DUI is a charge brought against a driver when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over 0.16%, or when they have previously been convicted of DUI three times or more within the last ten years. Additionally, if the driver causes serious bodily injury or death, they can be charged with a felony DUI.
Felony DUIs are much more serious than misdemeanor DUIs and carry significantly harsher penalties. If convicted of a felony DUI in Illinois, a driver can face anywhere from one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. They may also be required to complete an alcohol treatment program and may lose their license for five years.
Are there specific criteria or aggravating factors that elevate a DUI to a felony in Illinois?In Illinois, a DUI can be considered a felony if any of the following aggravating factors are present:
• The person was previously convicted of a DUI within the last 5 years
• The person was driving with a revoked or suspended license at the time of the offense
• The person caused an accident which resulted in great bodily harm or death
• The person had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16 percent or greater
• The person was transporting a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the offense
• The person refused to submit to chemical testing or perform field sobriety tests
How many prior DUI convictions are necessary for a DUI to be considered a felony in Illinois?In Illinois, a third or subsequent DUI conviction within a 10-year period is classified as a Class 2 felony.
What are some common aggravating factors that can lead to a Felony DUI charge in Illinois?1. Causing bodily harm or death: If a person is accused of causing bodily injury or death while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can face a felony charge.
2. Having multiple prior DUI convictions: A person can be charged with felony DUI in Illinois if they have three prior DUI convictions on their record within a 20-year period.
3. Excessive blood alcohol content: Depending on the jurisdiction, a person can face felony charges for having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level that is significantly higher than the legal limit.
4. Driving with a suspended or revoked license: Driving with a suspended or revoked license due to an existing DUI conviction can result in a felony charge in some jurisdictions.
5. Refusing to take a chemical test: Refusing to take a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer, can result in harsher penalties that can include felony charges in some cases.
What are the potential penalties and consequences of a Felony DUI conviction in Illinois?The potential penalties and consequences of a Felony DUI conviction in Illinois can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. Generally, those convicted of a felony DUI will face up to 12 years in prison, fines of up to $25,000, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and the suspension of their driver’s license for up to three years. In addition, they may be required to complete an alcohol treatment program or community service and may have difficulty securing employment or housing opportunities.
Is there a mandatory minimum sentence for Felony DUI convictions in Illinois?No, there is no mandatory minimum sentence for felony DUI convictions in Illinois. The sentence for a felony DUI conviction will depend on the circumstances of the case and the discretion of the court.
How do prior DUI convictions from other states impact Felony DUI charges in Illinois?If someone with prior DUI convictions from other states is charged with a felony DUI in Illinois, the prior convictions will be taken into consideration. Under Illinois law, a felony DUI is charged when a person has been convicted of a DUI three times in the past 20 years, or if a person was involved in an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death. If the person has prior DUI convictions from other states, these can be counted towards the total number of DUI convictions used to determine whether the charge should be a felony or a misdemeanor.
Can a Felony DUI result from DUI-related accidents causing injury or death in Illinois?Yes, a felony DUI can result from DUI-related accidents causing injury or death in Illinois. Depending on the specifics of the case, a driver may be charged with aggravated DUI causing serious bodily harm or death. Depending on the severity of the injury or death, the driver could potentially face a Class 2 or Class 1 Felony, which could lead to a prison sentence of up to 28 years.
Are there distinctions in penalties between Felony DUI and DUI involving drugs in Illinois?Yes, there are distinctions in penalties between Felony DUI and DUI involving drugs in Illinois. For a Felony DUI, the penalties may include a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of up to seven years in prison, depending on the number of prior DUI convictions. Additionally, a person may be fined from $2,500 to $25,000 for a Felony DUI offense. For DUI involving drugs, the penalties may involve a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of up to three years in prison, depending on the number of prior convictions. Additionally, a person may be fined from $2,500 to $10,000 for a DUI involving drugs offense.
Do commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders face unique consequences for Felony DUI in Illinois?Yes, commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders face unique consequences for felony DUI in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a CDL holder convicted of a felony DUI is subject to a lifetime disqualification of their CDL and is no longer eligible to drive commercial vehicles in the state. Furthermore, the CDL holder must also surrender their license to the Illinois Secretary of State within 10 days of the conviction.
What is the role of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in Felony DUI cases in Illinois?In Illinois, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are mandatory for all felony DUI cases. IIDs are attached to the ignition of a vehicle and require the driver to blow into the device to measure his or her blood alcohol level. If the level is above a preset limit, the vehicle will not start. The IID must remain installed in the vehicle for a minimum of six months for a first offense, and up to four years for multiple offenses.
Is there a possibility for plea bargains or reduced charges in Felony DUI cases in Illinois?Yes, plea bargains and reduced charges are possible in Illinois felony DUI cases. Generally, plea bargains are negotiated between the accused, their attorney and the prosecutor. Through plea bargaining, an accused person may be able to reduce their felony charge to a misdemeanor or even have the charges dropped altogether. However, each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits.
Can individuals with Felony DUI convictions regain their driving privileges in Illinois?Yes, individuals with felony DUI convictions can regain their driving privileges in Illinois. The process for doing so is different for each person and depends on their criminal record and other factors. If they have a suspended or revoked driver’s license, they must contact the Illinois Secretary of State to request reinstatement. This request may involve a lengthy review process and may require the individual to submit proof of their sobriety, complete an alcohol/drug evaluation, attend DUI classes, and/or pay any outstanding fines or fees.
How does a Felony DUI affect employment opportunities and background checks in Illinois?A felony DUI can severely impact an individual’s ability to gain employment in Illinois. Employers are legally allowed to deny an applicant if they have a conviction for a felony DUI, as it is a serious crime. Additionally, felony DUIs will show up on criminal background checks, and employers are likely to be wary of applicants with such a conviction.
Are there diversion programs or rehabilitation options for Felony DUI offenders in Illinois?Yes. In Illinois, offenders charged with a felony DUI may be eligible for a “Second Chance” program. This program is available to individuals who have been charged and/or convicted of a felony DUI in Illinois and who are eligible for probation. Depending on the circumstances, the program may allow the offender to complete a period of probation in exchange for having their felony DUI charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Additionally, offenders may be eligible for diversion programs such as Drug Court or SatNav. These programs provide the opportunity for offenders to receive intensive substance abuse treatment, counseling, job training, and other rehabilitation services as alternatives to incarceration.
What rights and legal options do individuals charged with Felony DUI have in Illinois?Individuals charged with Felony DUI in Illinois have the same rights as any other criminal defendant, including the right to a trial by jury, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Additionally, individuals may have other legal options available to them such as plea bargaining to reduce the charges, negotiating for a diversion program or community service, or filing a motion to suppress any evidence collected that was obtained illegally.
Can a Felony DUI conviction impact child custody and visitation rights in Illinois?Yes, a felony DUI conviction could have an impact on child custody and visitation rights in Illinois. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, when a court makes a determination regarding child custody, the court will consider the “moral, mental, and physical health of the parents.” If a parent has a felony DUI conviction, this could be considered a negative factor that could influence the outcome of a custody determination. Additionally, if a parent is found to be an ongoing threat to the safety of the child, the court may decide to restrict or deny visitation rights.
Is there a statute of limitations for prosecuting Felony DUI cases in Illinois?Yes, there is a statute of limitations for prosecuting Felony DUI cases in Illinois. Under the Criminal Code of 2012, the statute of limitations for a Felony DUI is three years from the date of the incident.
How does our state handle out-of-state DUI convictions in relation to Felony DUI charges in Illinois?In Illinois, out-of-state DUI convictions can be used to enhance a subsequent conviction of a DUI in Illinois. Thus, depending on the severity of the prior DUI convictions and the severity of the current DUI charge, a prior out-of-state DUI conviction may be considered when determining whether a current DUI charge should be considered a felony.
What resources or organizations provide support and guidance for individuals facing Felony DUI charges in Illinois?1. Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT): IDOT provides resources and information for individuals facing felony DUI charges in Illinois. These resources include alcohol and drug use education programs, information about the courts and criminal justice process, and information about the available options for individuals who have been convicted of a DUI.
2. Illinois State Bar Association: The ISBA provides legal advice and assistance to individuals who are facing felony DUI charges in Illinois. They can help to answer questions about the charges, provide legal advice on how to navigate the legal system, and can even connect you with an experienced lawyer in your area who can provide further assistance.
3. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): MADD is a national organization that works to reduce drunk driving deaths across the United States. They provide resources and support for individuals facing felony DUI charges in Illinois, including providing support to victims of drunk driving accidents and their families, helping to educate individuals about the dangers of drunk driving, and connecting individuals with legal assistance if needed.
4. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): NCADD is a national organization that provides resources for individuals with substance use disorders, including those facing felony DUI charges in Illinois. They offer counseling, support groups, and referrals to treatment providers that can help those facing felony DUI charges get the help they need.