What Kind of Charge is a DUI?

Updated on 04/10/2024 / Under

Are you or someone you know facing a DUI charge in Naperville, Illinois? We acknowledge that this could be a daunting experience, particularly considering the serious repercussions that come with both misdemeanor charges and felony offenses.

If you require legal assistance for your criminal charges and desire to minimize penalties, contact our experienced Naperville DUI attorneys, whose primary practice is these types of charges. Our defense attorney offers a complimentary consultation to assess your specific case and develop a strong defense strategy for you. Call us at (630) 425-0250 to schedule yours.

Defining a DUI Charge in Naperville

The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are well-known, and DUI is a leading cause of injuries and accidents on the road. In Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration level of at least .08% or with a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration level (THC) of five nanograms or more in the blood or ten nanograms or more in another bodily substance.

The legal consequences for a DUI can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. A first-time DUI offense may be charged as a misdemeanor, but repeat offenders are more likely to receive felony charges. Additionally, extreme cases with aggravating factors like injured victims and high BAC levels at the time of arrest often warrant felony charges.

It is important for anyone facing potential DUI charges to understand that any DUI can have serious repercussions, which could significantly affect your driver’s license status and insurance rates. Depending upon factors such as the extent of property damage or injury involved in an incident, you may also face a jail or prison sentence if convicted. It is essential to seek legal representation so that your rights can be fully protected should you find yourself in this position.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor DUI Charges

Misdemeanor DUI charges are typically associated with first-time offenses. Generally speaking, if you're facing this type of charge and there's no property damage or personal injury, you'll likely be charged with a misdemeanor. As such, it will carry lesser penalties than a felony DUI. You may face up to a year in jail for a misdemeanor DUI, fines ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, probation, and possible community service.

a man in a suit holding a glass of beer and keys

The severity levels, of whether or not the charge is a felony charge, have to do with many factors but are usually based on how many previous offenses you have committed.  Additionally, if any injury or death was caused by an impaired driver’s negligence in an accident, it is then likely for all involved to face felony consequences.

First and Second Offenses

In Illinois, a first and second DUI offense is considered a Class A Misdemeanor and can result in up to 364 days of jail time in the county jail, and fines up to $2,500. A second-time offender will not be able to receive court supervision and will receive a mandatory conviction, resulting in a revocation of driving privileges.

Third and Fourth Offenses

A third DUI offense is considered a Class 2 felony, which carries a punishment of 3 to 7 years in state prison, probation of up to 48 months, fines of up to $25,000, and a requirement of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. A fourth offense is also a Class 2 felony and has the same consequences but it is non-probationable.

Fifth Offense

A fifth DUI offense is a non-probationable Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4 to 15 years in the state prison and fines up to $25,000.

Sixth Offense

A sixth DUI offense is a non-probationable Class X felony, punishable by 6 to 30 years in the state prison, and fines up to $25,000.

Felony Charges and Convictions

In Illinois, a third DUI offense will be charged as a felony. A felony is an offense that is punishable by a jail term exceeding 364 days and is usually served in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

According to Illinois law, there are various classes of felonies:

  • A Class 2 Felony DUI carries a sentence of 3-7 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 1 Felony DUI carries a penalty of 4-15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • A Class X Felony DUI carries a punishment of 6-30 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $25,000.

Penalties for a DUI Charge

There are many penalties for a DUI charge and the penalties vary based on the severity of the incident and your previous offenses.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits

Depending on your BAC levels at the time of your arrest, you may have more severe consequences. If your BAC is between.08% and.149%, you could spend 10 days in jail and be fined a minimum of $1,250. For a BAC between .15% and .19%, you could face up to 30 days in jail and fines of $2,500. If your BAC is .20% or higher, you could be sentenced to 45 days in jail and required to pay $2,750 in fines.

a vial of blood taken to test alcohol content

Jail Time

The severity or number of prior convictions often determines the amount of jail or prison time mandated for a DUI conviction. For example, if the resulting incident causes bodily harm or results in the loss of life, then you will likely have a more severe punishment such as long-term imprisonment.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in an automobile that prevents the car from starting if the driver's breath contains alcohol. IIDs are commonly used as part of driving under the influence penalties, as well as for other offenses related to alcohol use while driving. The court may require you to use one of these when you drive.

Other Consequences of DUI Conviction

The penalties for a DUI in Illinois go far beyond fines and jail time. Perhaps the most unpleasant result of a DUI conviction is the potential to lose your job. Depending on the severity of your crime, employers may not be willing to overlook a past infraction that could put their business or their customers in danger.

Even if you’re not fired outright, any further advancements in your field may become blocked due to your legal history. If you are worried that your DUI charge will affect your record, don't hesitate to make a free appointment with one of our criminal defense attorneys today to discuss your case.

Call Naperville DUI Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation!

If you have recently been charged with a DUI in Naperville, Illinois, it is important that you seek legal guidance from an experienced lawyer right away. A DUI charge is a serious criminal offense and the penalties for conviction can be severe.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could be facing jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, community service, and even probation. Our criminal defense lawyers Naperville DUI Lawyer can create a solid defense for you to help minimize or eliminate your drunk driving charges. Call us today at (630) 425-0250 for a free consultation!