When is DUI a Felony in DuPage County?
A misdemeanor DUI is bad enough. You could face a bit of jail time, and you will probably have your license revoked for a period of time. However, when you are facing felony charges related to a DUI, your situation is very serious. You could be facing more than a year of prison time, and it could be much longer than a year depending on the particular circumstances. Charging a DUI as a felony is an extreme way to handle extreme DUI cases. For you to be charged with a felony DUI, there must have been some fact or circumstances that made your alleged conduct much more serious than an average, run-of-the-mill drunk driving incident. If you have been charged with a DUI-related felony, it is important that you are represented by an experienced lawyer who can try to minimize the impact this case will have on your life.
What Circumstances Turn a DUI into a Felony?
There are only a handful of situations where a felony charge will stem from a DUI. Factors that can raise a DUI to the felony level include:
Young passenger - On a first DUI, you could be charged with a felony if you injured a passenger who was under 16 years old. If it is your second DUI, simply having a passenger under 16 is a Class 4 felony - or a Class 2 if the passenger was injured.
Repeat offenses - A third DUI, or any DUI after the third, is automatically a felony. If you have a prior conviction for a DUI that killed someone, you could be convicted of a Class 3 felony. If this is your sixth DUI, then you could be charged with a Class X felony. This is the most serious level of criminal charge in Illinois and carries up to 30 years in prison.
Injury or death - If you injured or killed a person while driving intoxicated, you will face felony charges. The specific degree of the felony you are charged with - and the potential prison time and other penalties you could face - will depend on the circumstances, including whether you have any priors.
Driving requirements - If you did not have a valid license or did not carry at least state minimum car insurance at the time of your DUI, then you will likely be charged with a Class 4 felony.
Perhaps the most serious consequence of a felony DUI is becoming a felon. Being a felon can close a lot of doors in your life.
Call a DuPage County DUI Lawyer
If you are facing felony DUI charges, Davi Law Group, LLC has the criminal defense experience you need. Our skilled Wheaton DUI attorneys will strive to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Call 630-580-6373 for a free consultation.