Is DUI a Criminal Offense in Illinois?

When you’re pulled over for driving under the influence, it can be scary. You’ve been handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car, leaving your vehicle behind. Now, you may be concerned about your criminal record and how a DUI will affect it. 

Is DUI a criminal offense in Illinois? It’s a common question that many arrested drivers have, and the answer is yes. Even a first-time offense can have major legal consequences. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with them alone. 

Instead, reach out to an attorney from Chicago Trusted Attorneys. We understand how severe a DUI can be, and we’ll help you do what’s possible to avoid a conviction with a lasting impact.  We have helped thousands of others fight their DUI cases successfully. 

Misdemeanors vs. Felonies

Even if this is your first DUI conviction in Illinois, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. That’s a serious charge, since it could mean jail time for up to a year and a hefty fine. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI before, the penalties may be even more severe and you are at risk of having your driver’s license revoked. 

If there are any aggravating factors, though, your case could be bumped up to a felony charge. Typically, this happens for cases where more than driving under the influence has happened. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and they believe you were drunk at the time of the crash, you may be charged with a felony instead. 

Penalties for a DUI Conviction

While the penalties will vary for your case, a conviction typically involves a few key types of punishments. You likely already expect possible jail time and major fines. However, a DUI can also affect your driving privileges. DUI penalties intend to address both traffic safety and public health, so you may be facing more consequences than you’d expect. 

If you’re convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, chances are good that you’ll lose your license for at least a year. If you’ve been convicted in the past, that sentence can last even longer. You may also have the option to buy an ignition interlock device (often referred to as a BAIID device). This machine makes starting your car impossible unless you can pass a breathalyzer test

You may also be expected to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. This treatment could last for months, leaving you with even more expenses and less time to work to pay for them. 

Fight Your DUI with Help from an Illinois Attorney

When you’re facing a conviction, you’ll need to ask more than, “Is a DUI a criminal offense in Illinois?” You’ll also need to ask the right questions about what your charges are, what penalties you’ll face, and what you can do about them. Fortunately, your defense lawyer is there to help you every step of the way. 

At Chicago Trusted Attorneys, we know how difficult overcoming a DUI can be, and we’re ready to help you build the right defense for your Illinois case. 

To get started, reach out to your Illinois DUI lawyer today. Get started with a consultation by calling 312-519-3171 or by completing the online form below.