Some people choose not to fight the charges when they are faced with their first DUI. You may think that the consequences are not very severe, or you might feel that you don’t have a chance of defending yourself.
Illinois DUI Law Is Different from Other States
This is because consequences scale significantly, should you be charged with a second DUI in the future. Your second DUI is a Class A misdemeanor offense. It carries a sentence of up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Your driver’s license may also be revoked.
Certain states only look back a certain number of years when considering prior DUI offenses. Illinois, however, considers DUIs from any point in your life, even if it was 30 years ago and in a different state. No matter how long ago your DUI was, it will still count as a prior DUI, and your new DUI will be a second DUI.
Court Supervision Is Not an Option
First-time DUI offenders might have the option of court supervision. If you undergo court supervision for a DUI charge, the conviction will not go on your record right away. Instead, you will be required to fulfill a number of requirements under the supervision of the court.
- Paying your fines
- Completing required alcohol education and/or treatment programs
- Staying out of legal trouble for a period of time, often one year
After the probationary period has ended, if you have fulfilled the requirements, the conviction will not go on your record.
However, court supervision is only available for first-time DUI offenses. Once you have a prior DUI on your record, you can’t get court supervision again.
A Second DUI Carries Increased Penalties
As Class A misdemeanors, second DUI convictions carry a minimum jail sentence of 5 days and a maximum sentence of 364 days. If there was a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the DUI, it is automatically an aggravated DUI and a Class 2 felony. This carries a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail and a maximum sentence of up to 14 years.
Second-time DUI offenders may be required to perform community service in place of a prison sentence. For Class A misdemeanor DUI convictions, the community service minimum is 240 hours. For aggravated DUIs and Class 2 felony convictions, it is a minimum of 480 hours.
Second DUI convictions may also impose fines, depending on the circumstances:
- A second DUI conviction that is a Class A misdemeanor: $2,500 (maximum)
- A second DUI conviction that is a Class 2 felony: $25,000 (maximum)
- If the offender’s BAC was .16 or higher: $1,250 (minimum)
- If the offender was transporting a passenger under the age of 16: $2,500 (minimum)
- If the passenger under the age of 16 was injured: $5,000 (minimum)
In addition to longer jail sentences and greater fines, second DUI convictions also result in a five-year driver’s license suspension. So that they can get to school, work, medical appointments, and alcohol treatment programs, defendants may be issued a restricted driving permit (RDP). To obtain the RDP, repeat DUI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device, a breathalyzer that the driver must blow into in order to start the car.
A Peoria DUI Lawyer Will Help You Fight These Charges
Although the penalties for a second DUI can be extremely severe, a good attorney can help you reduce your sentence. The criminal defense attorneys at Schierer & Ritchie carry over three decades of experience helping our clients fight DUI charges.
At Schierer & Ritchie, we have the expertise to get charges reduced or even dropped. By examining the circumstances of your case, such as the legality of the traffic stop, the administration of the breathalyzer, or the presence of constitutional rights violations, we defend your rights and protect your future. If you have been charged with a second DUI, don’t delay. Contact our offices today for a complimentary initial consultation.