When you drive a vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol you can be charged since driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Illinois. As a first-time DUI offender, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Even so, if a drunk driving charge results in a felony charge it is known as an aggravated DUI in Illinois. A first-time DUI can turn into a felony depending on the circumstances revolving around the DUI.
If you are wondering what is an aggravated DUI in Chicago you are in the right place. When a person is found to have been committing an additional offense on top of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol the offense is classified as an aggravated DUI. A felony DUI conviction will not only be a life-changing event for you and your career but as well for your whole family.
You will need a skilled Chicago DUI defense attorney when you are dealing with an aggravated DUI case. With a seasoned criminal defense lawyer and a strategic legal defense, your aggravated DUI case has a higher chance of getting a positive outcome.
What Makes a DUI an Aggravated DUI Charge?
Just like the name suggests an Aggravated DUI charge is more serious compared to a misdemeanor DUI charge and it carries harsher penalties. An aggravated DUI charge can fit in between the category of a class 4 felony to a class X felony and this will be determined by the circumstances revolving around the case. It is important to note that even a first-time DUI can be classified as an aggravated DUI depending on the circumstances.
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Below are factors that will contribute to the DUI charge being classified as an aggravated DUI;
- Driving in a school zone.
- Being on the road without a valid driver’s license or driver’s permit.
- Driving under the influence with a child that is under 16 years of age.
- Getting involved in an accident that causes bodily harm.
- Driving a school bus with passengers aged 18 years or below.
- Driving without vehicle liability insurance.
- Being behind the wheels of a vehicle for hire with a passenger or passenger.
- Transporting a minor that is under the age of 16
An aggravated DUI most of the time results in a longer prison sentence and greater fines. However, a Chicago DUI defense attorney will be able to help you get your charges dismissed or reduced to a lighter sentence. We can help you to fight to avoid serving lengthy prison sentences, avoid losing your driver’s license, or help you get an RDP (restricted driving privileges).
Penalties for an Aggravated DUI
Aggravated DUI charges have a greater impact compared to a misdemeanor offense. You may be required to serve jail time and you may have to pay thousands of dollars as a fine not to mention that an aggravated DUI offense will be with you for life and will impact you negatively.
The Illinois system responsible for punishing individuals that drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs will depend on a number of factors and including their driving history. It is important to note that the penalties are harsh and will heavily impact the life, work, health, and family of an individual.
The penalties can be as follows;
Class 4 Felony
Even though a class 4 felony is the least serious of all felony charges a conviction for this charge still carries a sentence of 1 – 3 years in prison and an individual may have to pay a fine amounting up to $25000.
Class 3 Felony
When you get convicted for class 3 felonies you risk serving 2 to 25 years in prison and paying fines amounting to $25,000.
Class 2 Felony
Some of the circumstances that a class 2 felony can occur is a DUI resulting in the death of another and if you are being charged with a third or subsequent DUI among other circumstances. As a result, the consequences be serving a 3 to 7 years prison sentence and paying a fine of up to $25,000.
As a result of a Class 1 felony, a convict will serve 4 to 15 years in jail and pay fines amounting to $25,000. A 5th DUI conviction can be classified as a class 1 felony.
Class X Felony
A class X felony is the most serious felony. When a person is convicted of a felony they can serve a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years and pay $25,000 in fines. A sixth or subsequent conviction for a DUI is one of the offenses that can be classified as a class X felony
How Our Firm Can Help With an Aggravated DUI Charge
Your life can change significantly as a result of a DUI charge. Aside from the lengthy prison sentence that you are likely to serve as a result of an aggravated DUI offense you will as well face the stigma that comes with being a convicted felon and this keeps you from getting job opportunities and getting your life back on track after you have served time. You can end up losing your license permanently with no hope of getting it back and it can affect your livelihood as well as your life in general.
If you are facing felony DUI charges it is important to get a skilled and devoted Chicago aggravated DUI lawyer. When you have the help of a good lawyer you can be able to avoid the conviction that will lead to you evading the resulting consequences. If the charges are not dismissed the lawyer can help to minimize the conviction.
At Chicago DUI Defense we have a proven track record of helping individuals fight off DUI felony charges, retain their driving licenses, and help them maintain a clean record. Our DUI lawyer has a deep understanding of the process of aggravated DUI cases. We know how to come up with a strong argument or defense for your case.
We know what is at stake and our mission is to help you get the best possible outcome. Schedule your free consultation with us. Let us give you an honest assessment, tell you about the legal process, and you’ll get to know what we can do to help you fight off that aggravated felony charge.