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What Are The Penalties For A Misdemeanor DUI In Illinois?

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

Being under the influence of alcohol and driving is not safe and the laws in states can differ. In Illinois, the punishment for driving under the influence can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, a first-time offense for a drunk driver can vary. Two people can be arrested in the same situation, yet still have different outcomes for their cases.

The lesser charge would be a misdemeanor DUI which would mean the driver was caught before any harm was done to themselves or others. Having an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer on your side is key to ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Learn everything you need to know about Illinois DUI misdemeanor penalties here!

If you have any questions about your DUI then please call our skilled attorneys today at Dohman Law!

What is the Penalty for a First-Time DUI in Illinois?

In Illinois, DUI charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on factors like whether it's their first offense and if there were any serious injuries caused by the driver. Additionally, the charge is harsher when a minor was in the car of an intoxicated person under the influence of alcohol.

Challenging the police officer about your breathalyzer test is not the way to go to help with your traffic violation. Underage drivers, traveling with a minor passenger or child passenger, or driving with a restricted license can affect your criminal record.

person with an open flask drinking and driving

First-time DUI offenders receive a conviction to be considered a Class A misdemeanor and their license will be suspended for a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years if they are under 21 or 1 year if they are 21+. If you have been arrested for a DUI or if you have previous convictions, the authorities may take away your vehicle. If you commit another DUI, it will be seen as a felony offense. All aggravating factors will be brought in and included in your criminal charges.

A DUI offender who is convicted of a DUI while transporting a child under 16 years is subject to enhanced additional penalties, including an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1000, an additional two days of imprisonment, and an additional mandatory minimum of 140 hours of community service, including 40 hours community service that's beneficial to children.

What is the Difference Between Felony DUI and Misdemeanor DUI?

Oftentimes, when referring to drunk driving penalties, individuals do not differentiate between the kinds of DUI charges they are dealing with. The implications of a misdemeanor DUI charge in contrast to a felony DUI charge can differ greatly in terms of punitive measures and reputation damage. Having a drunk driving charge, you will be subjected to hefty fines and loss of driving privileges.

1. Misdemeanor Charge: Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Misdemeanor offenses are violations of the law that occur when someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and their blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit. They may have been driving recklessly but were stopped before any harm to themselves or others was done.

FAQ: Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Test in Illinois

People convicted of driving under the influence typically receive up to months in jail or one year of imprisonment, community service hours, and are fined a maximum of $1,000. Repeat offenders, often incur greater fines and additional penalties than DUI offenders who have not been charged previously.

2. Committing a DUI felony charge

For a first-degree DUI felony, there is a possibility of imprisonment for up to 15 years, a certain amount of days of community service, and a fine of up to $25,000. Some jail terms are between 1-12 years or 3-7 years in jail time. The maximum punishment is always pushed for in regard to a Class A felony. Call Dohman Law today and speak to an experienced felony DUI attorney today!

How Long Does a DUI Case Take in Illinois?

Generally, a first-time DUI offender's conviction will be resolved within three to six months based on your felony conviction. This may be extended in certain situations, such as if an accident occurred. Your statutory summary suspension period before conviction is determined based on if you submitted chemical testing. This is also different than your criminal consequences.

The initial court hearing for a DUI arrest usually takes place around one month after the arrest, and subsequent court dates are set one month apart.

Do You Lose Your License for the First DUI in Illinois?

Those charged with DUI or having a court mandate may have their driver's license taken away or annulled. Usually, first-time culprits who get DUI sentences have to endure an interlude of termination for the duration of one year. During this hiatus, those convicted of DUI results must fix a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in the motor vehicles they drive.

man drinking at a bar with his car keys in hand

Individuals caught operating a vehicle without the necessary apparatus may be accused of a Class 4 felony infraction. Furthermore, you may be obligated to pay supplemental fees and could face between one and three years in prison. Additionally, any action to doctor the ignition interlock device or allowing someone else to blow it for initiating the car will result in repercussions. Sanctions for interfering with said instrument include up to $2,500 in fines and a maximum of 364 days in jail.

Can A DUI Attorney Help Me Beat My DUI Charges?

In Illinois, if you are charged with a DUI, there are both civil and criminal legal procedures that come into play. Your license can be revoked during the civil process, while jail time is determined in the criminal process. An experienced lawyer can help to dispute various aspects of your DUI charge.

By using the services of a DUI defense attorney, you can be defended against DUI charges:

  • Questioning the validity of the drunk driving checkpoint and your associated arrest.
  • Attacking the accuracy of the breathalyzer test (blood alcohol concentration test).
  • It's possible to dispute the arresting officer's judgment of your intoxication if they didn't use a breathalyzer.
  • Contesting the field sobriety tests.

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Beating a DUI in Illinois

At times, a DUI defense lawyer can make a compelling plea for lenience for a first-time DUI culprit. After the delinquent is pronounced guilty or gives in to their initial DUI charge, a magistrate may grant them permission to partake in a court-mandated guidance program. Despite the fact that the DUI arrest still stands on the document. During the court-demanded orientation program, the defendant must finish an alcohol treatment course.

For some states a DUI can be erased from your record after a period of time, however, that is not the case for Illinois. To save yourself time and thousands of dollars contact the law firm of Dohman Law Group to speak to a criminal defense attorney that will help provide you with a strong defense and discuss your driving record. Call (847) 359-4005 for a free consultation today!

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