When you are convicted of drunk driving, it has the potential to change your life forever. Your license can be suspended, leading to difficulties keeping personal commitments—including work—and you may even spend time in jail. Just the first offense of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can result in the loss of your driving privileges for up to six months.
In some cases—especially if it is your first DUI offense—you may qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, meaning that you may be able to drive while your license is technically suspended. This, however, means you will need to pass a breathalyzer test every time you get behind the wheel of your personal vehicle in order for it to start. Of course, if you refuse to submit to chemical testing after your arrest, the suspension of your license will last even longer—a total of one year for a first offense. The total estimated cost of a DUI if you are convicted is estimated at around $16,000 all-told.
Aggravated DUI in Illinois
If that sounds devastating, it is hardly comparable to that of a felony DUI conviction, also known as aggravated DUI. A conviction on charges aggravated DUI is far worse with more severe penalties and higher fines applicable in most cases. Every year in the state of Illinois roughly 300 people die in alcohol-related crashes. As such, it is perhaps understandable that the state takes a hard line against felony DUI, including a DUI causing a crash that resulted in serious injuries or death. Felony DUI charges may also be applicable if the person charged has before been convicted of a DUI. In Illinois, a third DUI offense automatically becomes a felony charge.
You could also be hit with a Class 4 felony DUI charge even if it is your first DUI conviction if a minor under the age of 16 was in the car at the time of incident and the child was injured in a DUI-related accident. If this occurs and the driver does in fact have a previous DUI conviction, this then becomes a Class 2 felony charge, and the applicable penalties increase accordingly.
We Can Help
While a DUI charge is always serious, you may have options available to you that can help you avoid a conviction and long-term damage to your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Wheaton to discuss your situation today. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation today.