When a DUI Can Be Charged As a Felony

Evan Randall DUI Defense

In most cases, driving under the influence charges are class a misdemeanors. These are punishable by up to a year in jail and / or a $2,500 fine. However, there are circumstances where a more serious felony-level charged can be brought.

Every DUI has important consequences that are not very desirable. Both misdemeanor and felony DUIs can impact the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, insurance rates, and even possible jail time. While felony charges are more serious, an experienced attorney needs to be consulted regardless of the class of offense.

Generally known as Aggravated DUI, the felony version of the offense can take multiple forms. This article addresses the most common.

Prior Record

Driver’s who have been convicted of multiple DUIs can face enhanced felony charges. Generally speaking, the first DUI can result in supervision; the second in a conviction; and any additional offenses can be charged as felonies. A class 2 felony of this sort is punishable by 3 to 7 years in prision in addition to a period of mandatory supervised release, treatment and fines.

A fourth offense carries a mandatory prison period as it is non-probationable. Fifth time offenders can face class 1 felony charges resulting in 4 to 15 years in prision.

If you have been charged with a DUI, even your first, it is very important to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Class 4 Felony DUI

A class 4 felony is punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison and a hefty fine. It is a probationable offense and an experienced attorney will be able to protect the driver from spending a single night in jail or prison. The following DUI situations can be class 4 felonies:

  • while driving a bus
  • while driving a hired vehicle (taxi, Uber, etc.)
  • resulting in great bodily harm or disfigurement
  • driver didn’t have a valid license or insurance
  • driver was in a school zone

Class 2 Felony DUI

A class 2 felony is punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison and a large fine. The following DUI situations can be class 2 felonies:

  • transporting a child

Other Penalties

Whether the driver is facing their first or fifth DUI, there are collateral penalties. In many cases, particularly with first time DUI charges, these other consequences can be more severe than the court order. Most importantly is the impact from the Secretary of State Office.

An experienced DUI attorney will be able to take all of these consequences into consideration when deciding how to proceed in a case.

Evan E. Randall is a criminal defense attorney in McHenry County. Call (815) 880-4529 to speak with a criminal defense attorney or email erandall@defend.law to set up a free consultation.