Is a DUI Considered a Crime?

Published: May 03, 2017, by admin in DUI, Legal Blog

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Illinois, you are likely frightened and unsure of whether your DUI charge is considered a crime. A DUI is always a crime, and depending on the circumstances it is either a misdemeanor or a felony.

By consulting a Chicago DUI lawyer from O’Meara Law, you’ll be able to understand whether your DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor or felony as well as what defense strategies may improve the outcome of your case.

Call us today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation about your DUI charges.

When a DUI is a Misdemeanor?

Without aggravating factors such as injuries or the involvement of a child passenger, a first-time DUI offense in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor. These penalties include fines of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, and a driver’s license suspension of one year.

Although a second Illinois DUI conviction is also considered a Class A misdemeanor, the penalties are harsher than those of a first-time DUI offense. If you are convicted of a DUI for the second time, you can expect fines of up to $2,500, a mandatory jail time of five days or 240 hours of community service, and a driver’s license suspension of at least five years.

When a DUI is a Felony?

If you are convicted of a first or second DUI offense that involved a minor in the car or that harmed a child, your DUI will be considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor. A third DUI offense, regardless of the circumstances, is a Class 2 felony. A third DUI conviction will cost you up to $25,000 in fines, three to seven years in prison, a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community services, a license suspension of a minimum of 10 years and a 48-month probation period.

Fourth and fifth DUIs are “aggravated DUIs” which may be Class 1 or 2 felonies with life-altering consequences such as the revocation of driving privileges for life and imprisonment of six to 15 years. Sixth and subsequent DUIs are Class X felonies that result in revocation of driving privileges for life and imprisonment for up to 30 years.

In the event that your DUI has taken someone’s life, you will be subject to a Class 2 felony punishable by a minimum of three and up to 14 years in prison. If two or more individuals were killed, you will face six to 28 years in prison.

Pulled Over for a DUI? Call a Chicago DUI Lawyer at O’Meara Law Immediately

The penalties for a DUI in Illinois are harsh regardless of whether your offense is a misdemeanor or felony. In any case, your conviction will restrict your employment opportunities and affect your day-to-day life. That’s why you need experienced legal representation from O’Meara Law by your side. Attorney Michael O’Meara is a skilled Chicago DUI attorney who will thoroughly review your case and build an effective defense strategy that may bring your case to a positive resolution.

We have over 20 years of experience protecting the rights of DUI offenders whose freedom and future are on the line. To find out how we can help you specifically, call us at 312-909-0706 for your free consultation.