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What Is an Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a severe offense in Illinois.  A first-time driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol offense is a misdemeanor offense; however, any drunk driving charge that results in felony charges is an Aggravated DUI in Illinois.  Depending on the circumstances of a DUI, even a first DUI conviction can cause felony charges.  Aggravated DUI carries a mandatory sentence, which can't be waived even if you receive probation.  If convicted of Aggravated DUI, the DUI offender must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service.

If you're facing an aggravated DUI in Illinois, it's crucial to contact an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney. At Dohman Law Group, our skilled Rolling Meadows Dui criminal defense lawyers can help you get your DUI charges reduced or even dismissed. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our Cook County criminal defense law firm today at 847-359-4005

What Makes a DUI Aggravated in Rolling Meadows, Illinois?

In each DUI case, the prosecutor must prove that the DUI offender violated the law in some way, such as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more or driving with any amount of a controlled substance in the system.

If you're charged with aggravated DUI, the proof is the same, but there are additional facts that trigger a harsher sentence. For instance, if the DUI offender is charged with aggravated DUI, such as a Class 4 felony for not having a valid license while committing the intoxicated driving offense, the prosecutor's case must establish: a) the defendant had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08; and 2) they didn't have a valid driver’s license. The prosecutor must prove each fact beyond a reasonable doubt.

The following elements constitute aggravated DUI under Illinois drunk driving laws:

  • This is the offender’s third DUI offense. In Illinois, a 3rd-time DUI offense results in a Class 2 felony charge, which is an aggravated DUI. A Class 2 felony offense carries a jail sentence of 3-7 years in prison but is probational.
  • Driving a school bus with children under 18 years of age on board. This is a Class 4 felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of 1-3 years in jail.
  • Being involved in a motor vehicle accident, which causes great bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability. A physical injury to the driver doesn't count, another person must suffer personal injuries in the crash. Also, it doesn't matter who was at fault for the motor vehicle accident. This is a special Class 4 felony offense that carries a jail sentence that ranges from 1-12 years in prison.

Learn More: How To Beat a DUI in Illinois

  • A second offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs where the offender has a previous conviction for some form of alcohol-related reckless homicide offense. This form of aggravated DUI is a Class 4 felony offense, which is punishable by 1-3 years in prison.
  • Driving in a school zone. Driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit on a school day with children present and being involved in an auto accident involving bodily harm to another person. For this offense, the bodily injury must amount to less than great bodily harm. This is a Class 4 felony offense, which is punishable by up to 1-3 years in prison.
  • Causing the death of another individual. This is a severe offense of aggravated DUI because the presumption is that the judge should sentence the DUI offender to prison instead of probation. The prison sentence ranges between 1-12 years for causing one fatality. If two individuals or more died in the motor vehicle crash, then the jail sentence ranges between 6-28 years. The jail sentence isn't subject to early release. The DUI offender must serve at least 85% of the actual jail sentence instead of the 50% time served for other felony offenses. For this offense to hold, the defendant must be partially at fault for this offense.
Aggravated DUI in Illinois
  • The offender’s driver’s license was suspended or revoked for a previous DUI conviction, previous summary suspension, fleeing the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death, or reckless homicide. Here, the aggravated DUI offense is a Class 4 felony offense, which is punishable by 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections.
  • The DUI offender had an expired or invalid driver's license or never had a license. This is a Class 4 felony offense that carries a sentence in prison of 1-3 years in prison.
  • The DUI offender didn't have automobile insurance. This is a Class 4 felony offense that carries a jail sentence of 1-3 years in jail.
  • The DUI offender was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused bodily injury to a passenger under age 16. This is a Class 2 felony offense that is punishable by 3-7 years in prison, 25 days in community service, and a minimum monetary fine of $2,500 and.

However, it's essential to note that the judge must sentence the offender to at least 480 hours of community service or 10 days in jail unless the judge sentences the defendant to prison.

What are Potential Defenses Against Aggravated DUI Charges in Illinois?

If you're facing aggravated DUI charges in Illinois, any of the standard defenses that apply to an intoxicated driving charge can still be used to protect you against the enhanced charge. These defenses may include:

  • Lack of probable cause for the DUI arrest
  • Inaccurate or poorly-administered blood, breath, or field sobriety test
  • Violation of Fourth Amendment.
DUI attorneys in Chicago

However, for aggravated drunk driving charges, the prosecutor must prove the additional element that underlies the aggravated charge to the judge or jury. Also, the prosecution must meet the beyond a reasonable doubt standard for this extra element, too. This gives your DUI criminal defense attorney a valuable opportunity to challenge your charges, defend your rights, and fight the evidence presented against you. If successful, the aggravated element of the DUI charge can be beaten, reducing the severity of the overall DUI charge and reducing the criminal penalties that you could face.

FAQ: What Do I Do After a DUI?

The experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorneys at Dohman Law Group have represented thousands of drunk drivers charged with DUI charges – including aggravated DUI charges – in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Kendall County, and throughout Illinois. If you have been arrested and charged with drinking and drugged driving, you need the skills of our qualified attorneys in the courtroom to get the most favorable outcome in your DUI case. Call Dohman Law Group anytime to talk to an experienced lawyer about your DUI criminal charge. Contact our defense team today at 847-359-4005 for a no-cost case review.

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