Jan 5

A Texas man faces criminal charges for aggravated DUI in Illinois after killing a woman in a fatal car crash, according to an article by The Southern Illinoisan. The car accident in question occurred on September 18th on Interstate 57 near Franklin County, Illinois. At that time, the Texas man was driving a tractor-trailer on the northbound side of the highway. After crossing over the median, the Texas man smashed into the woman’s passenger vehicle.

The Illinois State Police responded to this accident and conducted the initial investigation. Once the authorities were ready to bring formal criminal charges, officers from Franklin County traveled to Texas on December 10th to arrest the man. The Texas man now faces criminal charges for two counts of aggravated DUI.

To better understand the gravity of this situation, the following sections will explore Illinois laws and penalties for aggravated DUI.

What are the Illinois Laws Concerning Aggravated DUI?

As specified in 625 ILCS 5/11-501, a standard DUI escalates to an aggravated DUI under specific circumstances, including drunk driving:

  • A school bus with passengers on board;
  • That leads to serious harm to a person;
  • In a school zone that leads to serious harm to a person;
  • That leads to a fatality;
  • Without valid automotive liability insurance;
  • On a suspended, invalid or revoked license; and
  • With any commercial passengers.

On a related note, three or more convictions for drunk driving can turn a standard DUI into an aggravated DUI.

What are the Illinois Penalties for Aggravated DUI?

As underlined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501, the penalties for aggravated DUI become much more severe with each subsequent conviction. On the lower levels of the punishment spectrum, the crime of aggravated DUI is a Class 4 felony. At that level, conviction can result in one to three years in jail and $25,000 in fines.

If a person commits three or four aggravated DUIs, then the crime becomes a Class 2 felony. At this level, the sentence can include three to seven years in jail and $25,000 in fines.

If a person commits a fifth aggravated DUI, then the crime becomes a Class 1 felony. At that level, the punishment can include four to 15 years in jail and $25,000 in fines. Additionally, conviction for a fifth offense removes the potential for probation or conditional discharge.

If a person commits six or more aggravated DUIs, the crime becomes a Class X felony. At that level, the penalties can include six to 30 years in jail and $25,000 in fines.  As with Class 1 felonies, there is no possibility of probation or conditional discharge for Class X felonies.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of Daen van Beers)