Getting one DUI can present enough challenges for you. Getting a second DUI can make the sanctions and penalties imposed on you for your first offense seem like child’s play. Illinois, like other states, employs a system of progressive sanctions to address repeat DUI offenders. This means that the penalties you face for DUI increase with each subsequent DUI conviction. Someone who has had four DUI convictions in Illinois, for example, can expect to receive harsher treatment from the court than someone who has never had a DUI conviction in the past.
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in Illinois
If you are found guilty or plead guilty to a DUI offense in Illinois and you have previously been convicted of DUI, you will be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s 2018 DUI Fact Book, the possible penalties and consequences you will face include:
- A mandatory minimum period of imprisonment for five days. Your actual jail sentence may be up to one year. In the alternative, the court could order you to perform 240 hours of community service.
- A fine of up to $2,500.
- Suspension of driving privileges for five years (if the previous DUI conviction occurred within the preceding 20 years).
The actual sentence you receive will depend on a host of factors. The prosecutor’s recommendation, your remorsefulness, the severity of harm (either property damage or physical injuries) your DUI caused, and your ability to be rehabilitated and address any alcohol addiction will play a role in your sentence.
Illinois’ “Look Back” Period
Some states consider the length of time that has elapsed between DUI convictions in determining whether the present DUI offense is categorized as a first, second, third, or subsequent offense. For example, Kansas only considers DUI convictions that occurred on or after July 1, 2001. There is no such “look back” period in Illinois, however. Instead, DUI convictions from any point in the person’s life are considered. Thus, a person who had a DUI conviction in 1989 may only be charged with a first offense of DUI in Kansas but would be charged with a second offense of DUI in Illinois.
A “look back” in Illinois only pertains to the suspension of driving privileges. If the previous DUI conviction occurred within 20 years of the current DUI conviction, the period of suspension would be for five years.
Aggravating Factors in a Second DUI
The possible penalties may be enhanced or modified depending on the facts or circumstances of the DUI case. For example:
- If the person’s blood or breath alcohol level is shown to be .16 or greater (twice the legal limit of .08), then the person would face a mandatory minimum fine of $1,250. In addition, the person would need to serve at least two days in jail.
- If a child under the age of 16 is in the car at the time the offender is driving drunk, then the offense is considered a Class 4 felony. If a child under the age of 16 is injured in a crash while the driver is DUI, then the offense will be charged as Aggravated DUI – a Class 2 felony.
Felonies are, of course, more serious than misdemeanors. The fines can be higher and the terms of confinement can be more serious. Specifically, a Class 4 felony can be punished by a term of incarceration between one and three years and a fine of up to $25,000. Class 2 felonies are even more severe: individuals convicted of such a felony can face between three and seven years of incarceration and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, a conviction for aggravated DUI can also result in the imposition of a mandatory $5,000 fine.
Seek Experienced and Knowledgeable Legal Help with Your Illinois DUI Case
If you are charged with your first DUI, or if this is your second or subsequent DUI arrest, a DUI conviction on your record can ruin your finances, your relationships, your job, and land you behind bars. Before you conclude there is no help for you, talk to the Noll Law Office. We have extensive knowledge and experience in defeating DUI charges or mitigating the consequences of a conviction. See what we can do in your situation. Call our office at (217) 414-8889 or reach us through our website, www.noll-law.com, and speak with us about your Illinois DUI case.