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Why Am I Facing Felony Charges for a DUI? In the state of Illinois, more than 20,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol every year. Of those arrested, approximately 90% of eligible drivers lost their driving privileges. Along with the suspension, many drivers will be convicted of misdemeanor charges and face up to one year in prison. For other drivers, a DUI can be elevated to an aggravated DUI and potentially result in felony charges. Below, we will examine why you may be facing felony charges for driving under the influence

Aggravated DUI in Illinois 

According to Illinois state law, there are a number of aggravating factors that can lead to a DUI charge being elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. The most common factor is simply the fact that the defendant has already been convicted for two prior DUIs. If you are charged with your third DUI offense, you will be facing Class 2 felony charges. A third DUI conviction will result in a three-to-seven-year prison sentence. In other instances in which a person has a previous alcohol-related conviction, such as an alcohol-related reckless homicide offense, a DUI will automatically be elevated to a Class 3 felony. 

Other common aggravating factors include when great bodily harm is caused to another party. If a person is killed by a driver charged with DUI, the driver will be charged with a Class 2 felony and face up to 14 years in prison. If bodily harm is caused to a passenger under the age of 16, the driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, which includes a minimum one-year prison sentence. 

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Posted on in DUI Defense

What Constitutes a Felony DUI Charge? Every year, thousands of drivers in the state of Illinois are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Due to the inherent risks of driving while intoxicated, DUI charges can come with severe legal ramifications. While the vast majority of DUI convictions constitute a Class A misdemeanor charge, some DUIs can be elevated to a felony charge. A misdemeanor DUI can result in temporary loss of driving privileges and fines but rarely leads to jail time. A felony DUI charge, on the other hand, can lead to life-changing consequences. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, speak with a skilled legal professional immediately. 

Why DUIs Are Elevated to Felony Charges

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, a DUI can be elevated to a felony charge for a number of reasons, most commonly for a repeat offense. A third DUI charge is elevated to a Class 2 felony charge and will come with a 10-year license revocation. A fourth conviction will result in a lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Once the charge has been elevated to a felony charge it is known as an aggravated DUI. 

Outside of multiple convictions, there are a number of aggravating factors that add to the severity of the crime in the eyes of law enforcement officials. These aggravating factors include:

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IL DUI lawyerWhen someone is arrested for drunk driving in Illinois, they will typically be charged with one of two crimes, either driving under the influence (DUI) or aggravated DUI.

An aggravated DUI charge results from driver actions that the state legislature has deemed particularly harmful or risky to public safety.

Aggravated DUI Is a Felony

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