The state of Illinois classifies DUIs as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the individual situation. While a misdemeanor certainly carries consequences, a felony conviction can alter your life even more significantly. Having a felony conviction could disqualify you from certain housing or educational opportunities, and it could negatively impact your career. Here at Ryan and Ryan Attorneys at Law, we understand the potential consequences of a felony DUI conviction, and we want to help diminish the long-lasting effects.
A DUI could escalate from a misdemeanor to a felony for several reasons. You will probably receive a felony charge if your actions result in an accident which causes injury. You will also likely face more significant charges if you were driving with a suspended license, or without adequate insurance. According to Illinois’ DUI Fact Book, charges are greater if your DUI occurs with minor children under the age of 16 in the car. If your substance consumption causes an accident which injures a minor in your vehicle, you will be charged with a felony, even if it is your first offense. When minors are present but do not sustain injuries, you could still face jail time and significant community service, in addition to a fine.
The most common instance in which a DUI becomes a felony is if it is not your first offense. A DUI automatically becomes a felony upon your third offense. Additionally, upon your third DUI, you could lose driving privileges for up to 10 years. If you receive a fourth charge, law enforcement will revoke your license permanently. More information about the consequences of drunk driving is available on our web site.