More than 12,000 people nationwide are killed in alcohol-related crashes each year, and with the holiday season upon us, drinking and driving behaviors are sure to be a problem once again. For more than three decades, police departments in Illinois have been surveyed to track the number of DUI arrests. In 2021, Aurora came in second statewide, with 325 arrests, a nearly 63 percent jump from the previous year. Decatur ranked number four in the state.
This holiday season, you can bet law enforcement will be on the lookout for drunk drivers, and past DUI convictions can affect whether you are charged with a misdemeanor offense or a felony charge. With this in mind, let’s look at three different types of DUI charges.
A driver will face a class A misdemeanor charge if their blood alcohol content is .08 or more. Often, defendants who face these charges were driving recklessly. You can face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. First and second offenses for DUI are usually prosecuted as misdemeanors in Illinois.
Overall, DUI arrests in Illinois went up by nearly 11 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. In this state, any DUI offense that results in felony charges is classified as aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI charges range from a Class 4 felony to a Class x felony with fines of up to $25,000. Here is a closer breakdown of the legal consequences:
- Class 4 felony DUI – The least serious of the felony charges. You could face one to three years behind bars. If it is an aggravated DUI involving someone’s injury, you could wind up behind bars between one to 12 years.
- Class 3 felony DUI – This could lead to two to five years in prison. A DUI charge is a Class 3 felony if the driver had a previous reckless homicide DUI conviction or an aggravated DUI conviction involving someone’s death.
- Class 2 felony DUI – This carries a potential sentence of three to seven years in prison. Aggravated DUI involving someone’s death can lead to three to 14 years in prison. If multiple people died, possible imprisonment ranges from six to 28 years in prison.
- Class 1 felony DUI – This carries a possible sentence of four to 15 years in prison.
- Class X felony DUI – This is the most serious type of felony charge. You could end up in prison for six to 30 years.
You will face aggravated DUI charges if you have at least two previous DUI convictions on your record. Felony charges are also possible for first and second offenses, if aggravating factors are present, such as having a child passenger in the car or causing an accident that injures someone.
Impaired driving charges that cause death have severe consequences. They are considered a Class 3 felony, but in some cases, they can be in the Class 2 felony category. If you are driving with a driver’s license that is revoked or suspended due to an aggravated DUI conviction and you are involved in a DUI crash where someone dies, you could be charged with reckless homicide.
Contact an Aurora, IL DUI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing criminal DUI charges, you should act fast. At [[title]], we know that a conviction will cost you your freedom and impact your life long-term. Whatever your circumstances may be, an experienced Elgin, IL DUI defense attorney will review your case to try to help you. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.