People driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol cause a disproportionate percentage of road accidents every year. Although many of these car crashes involve only the intoxicated driver and their vehicle, sometimes other drivers and passengers are injured or killed as well. When an intoxicated driver hurts or kills another person, the charges for driving under the influence are increased and a conviction can result in severe consequences that could impact the driver for the rest of his or her life.
This article examines the likely consequences of various types of harm caused by an intoxicated driver in Illinois. If you were involved in a DUI accident, seek legal representation immediately.
DUI Accidents Resulting in Serious Injuries, Disfigurement, or Disability
DUI accidents that result in serious bodily injury, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability can result in an aggravated felony DUI charge. Aggravated felony DUIs charges range from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, depending on the circumstances. Class 4 felonies, the least serious type of felony charge, still carry penalties of one to four years in prison, a driver’s license revocation of at least two years, and up to $25,000 in fines. Class X felonies, the most serious type of felony charge, allow for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and as much as $25,000 in fines.
The type of felony you are charged with will depend on whether you have previous DUIs and the extent of the damage or injury caused by the accident. Driving intoxicated with a child less than 16 years old, driving a school bus with children on board, driving as a rideshare operator or chauffeur with a passenger, or driving without a license or insurance can trigger more serious charges, even if there was not an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.
DUI Accidents Resulting in Death
If an intoxicated driver’s actions cause the death of someone else, the driver can be charged with at least a Class 2 felony. Persons convicted of a Class 2 felony face three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Convictions of Class 2 felony charges almost always result in mandatory prison time. Drivers who have been convicted of previous DUI charges, especially involving minors or harm to other drivers, face even more serious charges.
Keep in mind that these consequences for DUI charges do not take into account additional penalties for people who commit DUI-related crimes while under probation or conditional discharge, and do not include the expenses related to repair of vehicles or property or medical expenses.
Contact a Rolling Meadows DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI of any kind, seek experienced legal help immediately. A professional Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and create a strong defense to avoid the serious penalties a conviction can carry. At [[title]], we have more than 20 years of experience defending clients with aggravated DUI cases in Illinois. Schedule your free consultation by calling us today at [[phone]].