What Makes a DUI a Felony Offense in Illinois?

man's hand holding a glass of alcohol and car keys next to a car

DUI charges are most commonly either misdemeanors or felonies. For a DUI to be considered a felony, there must be certain factors present that increase the severity of the offense.

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Factors for Felony DUI in Illinois

Your DUI will become a felony if:

  • It is your third or subsequent offense: even if it has been many years since your last DUI conviction, a third or later offense will be considered a Class 2 felony. This can result in three to seven years in prison, and a fine of $25,000.
  • If you don’t have a valid license: driving without a permit or license is illegal at all times. If you are arrested for DUI without a license, you will face felony charges.
  • If the DUI resulted in an accident causing injury or death: if someone is seriously injured or killed in a DUI accident for which you are found at fault, you will face felony DUI charges.
  • You were driving a school bus: operating a school bus while under the influence is a felony offense if there were minors under 18 on the bus at the time.
  • If a minor under 16 was injured: while standard DUI with a minor in the car is a misdemeanor offense, if the minor is injured, it can be elevated to a felony.
  • You are an Uber, Lyft, or taxi driver: if you are a hired driver, getting a DUI can result in felony charges.
  • You knew you didn’t have liability insurance: getting a DUI without valid insurance is a class 4 felony offense.

Can Felony Offenses Be Expunged?

In general, if you were convicted or found guilty of a crime in Illinois, it can not be expunged from your record. DUI is one offense that, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, cannot be expunged. Once you are convicted, it will remain on your record permanently.

Chicago DUI Defense

The consequences of a felony DUI are severe and the conviction on your record is permanent. Working with a DUI defense attorney is the best way to mitigate the consequences of a serious DUI charge. The team at The Toney Law Firm, LLC will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. To get started on your defense,contact our firm today.