In Illinois, your first DUI can be charged as a felony depending on the circumstances of your arrest. Typically, your first arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol will be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The two most common circumstances where I encounter clients charged with a felony are when (1) my client’s Illinois’ drivers license was suspended or revoked; or (2) my client had an expired or invalid license, or never had a driver’s license. In either case, the felony charge is a Class 4 felony offense punishable by one (1) to three (3) years in prison. Police officers and prosecutors in Cook county and Du Page county vary widely on whether or not they will charge defendants with a felony based on these circumstances.
Less common reasons elevating a first offense Class A Misdemeanor to a felony are (1) when a client is driving a school bus with passengers under 18 years of age on board; (2) being involved in an accident resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement; (3) driving in a school zone (20 mph speed limit on a school day with children present) and being involved in an accident involving bodily harm to another; or (4) causing the death of another. In most cases police officers and prosecutors in Cook county and Du Page county will charge defendants with a felony based on these circumstances.
To read more about the elements and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol check out the statue.
Illinois Secretary of State also released a new DUI Fact Book (2016) with updated information on new laws and regulations regarding the statutory suspension, restricted driving permits, and monitored driving device permit.
If you are charged with No Valid Driver’s License and a DUI you may face a felony charge. If you would like a free consultation call or email Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC, by calling 630-917-2051 and/or emailing [email protected].