Facing Second Offense DUI Charges in Illinois?
Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas
A DUI conviction in Illinois can have serious consequences, even for a driver with no prior criminal history and a clean driving record. When a driver is charged with driving under the influence for a second time, the penalties can be even more severe.
Most Second Offense DUI Charges are Misdemeanors
Although there are additional consequences for a second offense, most second DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors. A second offense will only be a felony if certain aggravating factors are present.
A second offense DUI charges as a Class A misdemeanor carries a possible penalty of up to one year in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,500—the same maximums that are applicable to a first offense. However, a second offense carries mandatory penalties.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Second DUI Offenses
A person charged with DUI after having been previously convicted of DUI or a similar crime must be sentenced to a minimum term of either five days in jail or 240 hours of community service, in addition to any other penalties.
If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is.16% or greater at the time of the second violation, then the driver must be sentenced to at least two days in jail and fined a minimum of $1,250. In this situation, community service may not be substituted for the mandatory minimum jail sentence.
Driver’s License Suspension after a Second Offense DUI
A driver who fails a chemical test (a reading of .08% or greater) for the second time in a five-year period is subject to a one-year driver’s license suspension, versus a six-month suspension following the first chemical test failure.
The difference in penalties following a chemical test are even more significant. A first refusal triggers a 12-month suspension, whereas a second or subsequent refusal in a five-year period results in a 3-year suspension.
Aggravated Driving Under the Influence in Illinois
Although most second offense DUI crimes are charged as misdemeanors, a third offense is deemed aggravated driving under the influence, (Aggravated DUI), and is a Class 4 felony. Under certain circumstances, the classification of a third or subsequent offense may be even more serious.
For example, if the driver’s BAC is .16% or greater at the time of a third offense, the crime will be charged as a Class 2 felony. A Class 2 felony carries a possible sentence of 3-7 years in prison. This particular Class 2 felony carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail, and a mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.
Second and Subsequent DUI Defenses
The consequences for driving under the influence grow increasingly serious with subsequent offenses, and with other aggravating factors. However, it is important to remember that it is possible to fight DUI charges in much the same way a criminal defense attorney would fight a first-time charge.
For example, your attorney may be able to:
- Suppress BAC evidence if proper procedures were not followed
- Challenge the validity of the BAC test result based on faulty or poorly-maintained equipment
- Challenge the validity of the BAC test result based on improper administration
- Weaken the arresting officer’s testimony on cross-examination
Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a more favorable resolution with the prosecuting attorney. For example, if the evidence in the case is weak or there are significant mitigating circumstances, the prosecution may agree to a plea to a lesser offense that carries less serious consequences.
Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a second or subsequent offense DUI, it is in your best interests to consult a local attorney experienced in DUI defense. Many of the possible defenses to a charge of driving under the influence are technical, and may require specific legal knowledge and even a degree of scientific expertise to present effectively.
Don’t risk missing out on possible defenses. Schedule your consultation today.