Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, there’s a chance that you’ll face the upgraded charge of aggravated DUI. But what factors have to be present for you to be charged with aggravated DUI, and what are the potential penalties for the crime? We answer those questions and explain why you should always consider hiring a lawyer if you’ve been charged with aggravated DUI in Illinois.
Factors That Contribute To Aggravated DUI In Illinois
A standard first offense DUI in Illinois is typically classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries the potential of a modest fine and up to a year in jail, although penalties usually aren’t all that severe. However, certain factors can lead to an upgraded aggravated DUI charge, which is a felony-level offense. If a person is convicted of aggravated DUI, the judge is legally required to sentence them to a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service, and sometimes sentences are months or even years long.
But what factors need to be present in order for your misdemeanor DUI to be upgraded to aggravated DUI? Here’s a look at the factors:
- Prior DUI Conviction – If you have two prior DUI convictions on your record, the third and any future DUIs will be considered a Class 2 felony.
- Driving While Suspended or Revoked – If you are picked up for DUI with driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked as a result of certain actions, your charge will be upgraded to aggravated DUI.
- Driving Without a Valid License – Similarly, if the driver does not have a valid license or driving permit, the charge will be enhanced to aggravated DUI.
- Knowingly Driving Without Insurance – Your DUI charge can be upgraded to aggravated DUI if the intoxicated driver knew or should have known that the vehicle they were driving at the time of the arrest was not covered by an insurance policy.
- Causing Injury – DUIs that involve great bodily harm, bodily harm to a minor, or fatal accidents in which the drunk driver was at least partially at fault for can all be upgraded to aggravated DUI.
- Minors In The Vehicle – Your DUI charge will be upgraded if you are arrested for your second DUI with minors in the vehicle at the time of your arrest.
If you are being charged with aggravated DUI as a result of any of the above factors, you need to seek out professional legal help. At Appelman Law, we’ve helped numerous clients fight back against the charges and prevented months and years in jail by doing so. Don’t just plead guilty and ask for leniency, because there are heavy mandatory minimums and there’s no guarantee you’ll get the minimum sentence. A conviction will cost you thousands of dollars and likely some jail time, so hire a professional and see what they can do for you. Even if we can’t beat the charges outright, oftentimes we can work with the prosecution to get the charges reduced to a much less serious crime, saving you time and money. For more information, or to see what we can do for you, pick up the phone and call Appelman Law today at (630) 717-7801.