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Posted on in DUI Defense

The Consequences of a Second DUI ChargeGetting pulled over and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol is a uniquely stressful experience. This is especially true when the driver has previously been convicted of a DUI. While all DUI charges should be taken seriously, a second DUI conviction can come with incredibly severe legal ramifications. A driver will face not only a significant increase in fines, but they will also face more difficulty regaining their driving privileges and a higher likelihood of time in prison. In order to give yourself the greatest chance to fight a DUI charge, it is important to act quickly. Most importantly, you need to hire a DUI defense attorney that will aggressively represent your best interest. 

Understanding the Legal Consequences

In order to approach your DUI case with the urgency it rightfully warrants, you need to gain an understanding of the consequences of a second DUI conviction. In Illinois, a second DUI conviction will constitute a Class A misdemeanor and come with fines of up to $2,500. While on the surface the criminal charges are the same as a first offense, the offender will face increased difficulty avoiding the full force of the law. For instance, both a first-time and second DUI conviction can result in up to one year in prison, but a judge is much more likely to sentence you to significant prison time for a second offense. 

Where the real difference comes between a first offense and a second charge is in the offender’s ability to regain their driving privileges. While a first time DUI offense leads to a six-month license suspension, a second offense can lead to a license suspension of five years. It should also be noted that there is no lookback period in Illinois, meaning a DUI will remain on your permanent record no matter when you were charged. So if you are ultimately convicted, your next charge would result in felony charges and potentially years behind bars. 

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