Are you facing a criminal charge for a 2nd-offense DUI in or around Cook County? This time can be particularly stressful as you have to deal with police officers, suspension of your driving privileges, and impending criminal consequences. At Ktenas Law, we're here to help.
A DUI criminal defense attorney is available to provide you with the legal advice and representation you will need to get the best result from your case. While we help you manage your criminal charges, we will also work with you to get your driving privileges restored to keep the impact on your day-to-day life to a minimum. Call us today or schedule an appointment online for a no-cost consultation for your case!
Illinois DUI Requirements
You may be charged with a DUI in Illinois if you meet any of the following conditions:
- A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
- Your driving is impaired while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- You are under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of alcohol at intoxicating compounds while driving
- Driving with any amount of a controlled substance in your system
- Your driving is impaired by medical marijuana use
Subsequent DUIs Increase Penalties
People often have a difficult time telling whether they are impaired after a few drinks, and mistakenly believe they can drive legally. DUI limits are not set by how the driver feels, however, but rather by the driver's BAC in addition to other measures. Having a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered illegal while operating a motor vehicle in Illinois. Driver's under the age of 21 with a BAC of over 0.00 may be charged with a DUI, and commercial drivers may not operate a vehicle with a BAC of over 0.04. A person's BAC is influenced by how many drinks they consumed, whether or not they ate food, how much time has passed, and the size of the drinker.
Illinois has severe penalties for drunk driving charges. Penalties for DUI offenses increase for each subsequent conviction. First-time DUI violations, for instance, are Class A misdemeanors with the possibility of up to one year in jail in addition to a fine of up to $2500.
A second DUI offense can result in a minimum of one-year revocation of the driver's license as well as suspension of the vehicle's registration. They are still considered Class A misdemeanors with the same maximum penalties, but the addition of a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service.
Learn More: How Much Does a DUI Cost in Chicago?
Meanwhile, a third conviction will result in a felony charge of aggravated DUI, require a minimum of 5 years revocation of the driver's license and suspension of the vehicle's registration, and require completion of a drug or alcohol treatment evaluation and program.
Remember that each DUI case is different and has unique factors that can impact sentencing in the event of a conviction. If the driver's BAC is over 0.16 or if a child 16 years old or younger is present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the penalties for a DUI conviction can increase.
Not every 2nd time DUI offense results in extended jail time, but it is not uncommon for it to be included in sentencing. In the best-case scenario, a conviction for a 2nd DUI will result in the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service.
Consequences for a Second-Offense DUI
Second-time DUI offenders in Chicago will face two separate legal proceedings: a criminal case that may result in jail time, and an administrative case that can cost you your driver's license. For your second DUI conviction, your consequences for either can be severe.
Fines and Criminal Penalties
Illinois takes a strict approach to multiple DUI offenses, applying tougher penalties to each subsequent conviction. A second-time DUI charge carries a mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service and can increase up to 364 days in jail with a fine of up to $2,500.
The court is responsible for determining your sentence, and may increase the penalties you end up with depending on additional factors. Exceptionally high BAC, for example, will land you a higher minimum jail sentence.
Related Content: How a Lawyer can Help You With a DUI
Running concurrently with your criminal case will be an administrative process that can result in a suspension of your driving privileges. This suspension is separate from the license suspension you could receive as part of your criminal trial. If you receive an administrative license suspension you may appeal the process, but if you do not do so within a short window of time the administrative suspension will automatically go into effect.
A license suspension is one of the most severe administrative penalties you will face. For a second-time DUI, the suspension will last 1 year, or 3 years if you refuse to complete a breath test.
Common Defenses Against a DUI
DUI charges may seem impossible to beat, but a talented criminal defense team will know how to build an effective defense strategy for your case. It is especially important for your attorney to build an aggressive defense against charges you face if you have a prior conviction. DUI cases usually fall into one of two categories:
- Challenges to the stop. If law enforcement officers violate your rights at any point during or after your traffic stop and arrest, you may be able to use this as a defense for your case.
- Challenges to the test. Chemical test results are some of the most influential evidence used in most DUI cases. The results, however, are unreliable if the sample was contaminated or handled incorrectly. If you can demonstrate to the court that your chemical test is unreliable, you can build an effective defense around it.
Learn More: What to Do After a DUI
Work With a Talented Chicago DUI Attorney
A second-time DUI charge can quickly land you with alarming consequences after a criminal conviction. The mark on your criminal record can have personal as well as professional consequences, you may spend days behind bars or even months, you will face steep fines, and you may be required to take a drug treatment program as part of your sentence. You will also be facing administrative consequences including the statutory summary suspension of your license issued at the time of your arrest.
The best thing you can do to help yourself at this time is to hire an experienced Chicago DUI attorney. They will know the local laws governing your case and will be able to effectively guide you through the best approach, negotiate a favorable plea bargain, or represent you at trial. Contact one of our knowledgeable DUI lawyers at Ktenas Law today to schedule a no-cost initial consultation!