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When does DUI rise to a felony in Illinois?

Not all DUI charges are the same in their stakes here in Illinois. Some can cause a person to face especially severe potential consequences. Among these are charges of aggravated DUI. Aggravated DUI covers DUI offenses that fall into the felony, rather than misdemeanor, level. A conviction on felony DUI charges can expose a person to long prison sentences and significant fines.

So, what a person does regarding defense strategy can be extremely important when the drunk driving charges he or she is facing rise to the felony level.

There are a range of things that can push a DUI up into being a felony offense here in Illinois. Today we’ll go over some of the allegations that can lead to aggravated DUI charges in the state.

Drunk driving accusations against individuals with multiple prior DUIs

Under state law, a third or greater DUI offense is a felony.

DUI allegations involving major accidents

If a person is accused of drunk driving in connection to a significant crash, felony DUI charges could follow depending on what harm the accident caused. In Illinois, DUI that causes serious bodily injury, disfigurement, permanent disability or death to another person is a felony. Also, under certain circumstances, DUI that causes bodily injury can be a felony offense.

DUI accusations against special classes of drivers

Illinois has special drunk driving rules for school bus drivers and drivers of vehicles-for hire. It is a generally felony for such drivers to commit DUI while transporting at least one passenger (as a note, for school bus drivers, one of the passengers has to be 18 or under for this to apply).

Other special accusations

Some other examples of DUI offenses that state law classifies as felonies are:

  • DUI without a permit/license
  • DUI while on a drunk-driving-related license suspension/revocation
  • DUI without car insurance

What penalties individuals charged with felony DUI could face if they are convicted depends on what specific type of aggravated DUI they are accused of.

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