When Can Drunk Driving Lead to Felony DUI Charges?
All DUI charges are serious, and a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license, the requirement to use an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, significant fines and legal fees, and even a prison sentence. However, you may face even more serious charges if you are accused of committing aggravated DUI, which is a felony offense.
Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases
In most cases, a first-time DUI or a second DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor. A third or subsequent DUI will be charged as a felony. A conviction will result in a 10-year driver’s license revocation for a third offense and a lifetime revocation for any subsequent offenses.
Felony DUI charges will also apply in cases involving aggravating factors such as:
Bodily injury or death - If a person was involved in a car accident while driving under the influence, they may be charged with a Class 4 felony if other people suffered great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement. If an accident led to someone’s death, a person may be charged with a Class 2 felony.
Child passenger - If a driver was transporting a child under the age of 16 while they were intoxicated, and they were involved in a car accident that caused bodily injuries to the child, they will be charged with a Class 2 felony.
School zone - A DUI that took place in a school zone during the hours when reduced speed limits were in effect will be charged as a Class 4 felony if a driver was involved in a collision that caused a person to be injured.
Driving without a license or auto insurance - A driver who allegedly committed DUI may be charged with a Class 4 felony if they did not have a valid driver’s license or permit or if they did not have liability insurance on their vehicle.
School buses or for-hire vehicles - A person will be charged with a Class 4 felony if they allegedly committed DUI while driving a school bus and transporting one or more children under the age of 18 or if they were transporting at least one passenger in a vehicle for hire, such as a taxi, limo, or rideshare vehicle.
A felony DUI conviction will result in a prison sentence of at least one year, as well as fines of up to $25,000. More serious felonies will carry longer prison sentences, especially if a DUI involved injuries or death. The most serious aggravated DUI charge is a sixth DUI conviction, which is a Class X felony that can be punished by a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Contact Our DuPage County Aggravated DUI Defense Attorney
If you are facing any type of DUI charge, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we can help you determine your best options for defense, including determining whether the charges can be dismissed or reduced or helping you receive lesser penalties by participating in substance abuse treatment programs. To learn how we can help with your case, call our skilled Wheaton, IL DUI defense lawyer today at 630-580-6373 to set up a free consultation.