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Will a DUI Resulting in Injury Be Charged as a Felony in Illinois?

 Posted on January 31, 2024 in Uncategorized

Grundy County DUI Defense LawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Illinois. A person who is arrested for drunk or intoxicated driving and convicted on DUI charges will face numerous penalties, including the loss of their driver’s license, thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, the requirement to use an ignition interlock device when driving, and potential jail time, even for a first offense. However, when a DUI offense results in injury to another person, the consequences may become even more severe. For those who have been charged with DUI involving injuries to others, it is crucial to work with an attorney who can provide a strong defense during criminal proceedings.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor DUI

In general, felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors, and they carry harsher penalties, including prison sentences of one year or more. Misdemeanors typically carry less severe punishments, including sentences ranging from a few days to less than one year. In Illinois, first-time and second-time DUI cases will usually be prosecuted as misdemeanors. However, when certain circumstances are present, aggravated DUI charges may apply, and a person may face felony charges.

Aggravating Factors

Certain factors can elevate a DUI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. In DUI cases involving injuries, these factors may include:

  • Serious bodily harm: If someone suffered great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement in an accident caused by a driver who was intoxicated, the offender may face Class 4 felony charges.

  • School zone: A person who is accused of driving under the influence in an area around a school while a restricted speed limit was in effect may face Class 4 felony charges if they were involved in an accident that caused someone to suffer bodily harm.

  • Child passenger: A driver who was transporting a child under the age of 16 while they were intoxicated may face Class 2 felony charges if they were involved in an accident that caused the child passenger to suffer bodily harm.

  • Death: If someone was killed in an accident caused by a driver who was under the influence, the driver may face Class 2 felony charges.

Potential Penalties

The penalties that may apply following a conviction for aggravated DUI resulting in injury can vary depending on the level of felony charged. The potential consequences may include:

  • A Class 4 felony conviction may lead to a prison sentence of between one and three years, but in aggravated DUI cases involving injuries, the maximum sentence may be increased to 12 years.

  • A Class 2 felony conviction may lead to a prison sentence of between three and seven years. If a person was killed in a DUI accident, the sentence may range from three to 14 years, and if multiple people were killed the sentence may range from six to 28 years.

  • Fines of up to $25,000 may apply for any felony convictions.

  • In most cases, a DUI conviction will result in a driver’s license revocation for a minimum of one year. However, a DUI resulting in great bodily harm will result in a minimum two-year driver’s license revocation.

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you are facing DUI charges involving injuries in Will County, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. A skilled attorney who focuses on DUI defense will help protect your rights throughout the legal process while building a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific case. At Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., our experienced attorney can review all evidence against you, thoroughly analyzing police reports, witness statements, and any available video footage.

Contact an Experienced Joliet DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence following an accident in which someone was injured, you will need to make sure you take the correct steps to address the charges against you. At Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., our Will County felony DUI lawyer understands the serious nature of these charges, and he is prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf. We will do everything we can to help you avoid a felony conviction and resolve your case successfully. Contact us at 815-740-4025 to arrange a free consultation.

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