One of the most common criminal charges in the United States is a DUI. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that 11,000 deaths resulting from traffic accidents also involved an alcohol-impaired driver. In Illinois alone, more than 400 deaths occur each year from drunk driving. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, and the punishment for doing so can be severe. Most DUI situations involve misdemeanor charges, but those charges can quickly escalate to felony charges under certain circumstances.
First-Offense DUI Penalties
Under Illinois law, a first offense for a DUI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, the highest classification for a misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of DUI and has no prior DUI charges, he or she will still face up to one year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines and up to two years of probation. Additionally, a first-time DUI offender may also be subject to mandatory minimum penalties and community service.
In Illinois, any DUI charge that is classified as a felony charge is referred to as an aggravated DUI. With an aggravated DUI charge, any mandatory minimum prison sentence or community service cannot be suspended or reduced. If a person is sentenced to probation or conditional discharge, they also must serve at least 480 hours of community service, or they must agree to be imprisoned for ten days....