Illinois handles DUIs very seriously and has some of the strongest laws in the country to support this stance. It is illegal in the state for anyone to be driving or in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. You may also be charged with a DUI if you are pulled over while driving under the influence of drugs, prescription medications, or any intoxicating compound that can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
If you are arrested for a second DUI in Illinois, you need to take your charges seriously and take steps to address them as quickly as possible. A DUI conviction can carry severe penalties including mandatory jail time, heavy fines, license suspension, and days of community service. At DUI Lawyers 24/7 our experienced DUI criminal defense lawyers know the best way to approach different DUI cases and will work to build an aggressive defense strategy for your unique situation. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation with a member of our dedicated legal team to see how we can help you!
Penalties for a Second DUI in Illinois
DUI convictions in Illinois often result in harsh penalties being assigned to the driver. These will scale with the number of DUIs on their record, as more DUI convictions are added, the more severe the penalties will become. It is also important to note that Illinois does not have a lookback period for DUI charges, meaning that a conviction will stay on your driving record forever and will factor into any future DUI arrests.
The consequences of a DUI can be broken down into 2 separate categories:
- Criminal Penalties, which include jail time, fines, and community service requirements
- Administrative Penalties, which include drug or alcohol counseling, suspension of your driving privileges, and numerous fees
A second-time DUI offender in the state of Illinois can face a variety of punishments. If convicted, you will find yourself facing mandatory penalties including a minimum sentence of 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service as assigned by your judge. Keep in mind that these are mandatory minimum punishments and cannot be avoided, but the total jail time or community service issued to you can be considerably higher. Regardless of any individual factors, you may have the law requires your judge to assign these minimums to you.
An important distinction between first and second DUI charges is that court supervision is not available for a second DUI conviction. Court supervision is a common and beneficial result for many first-time drunk driving charges, as it prevents a conviction from being added to your record and allows the defendant to avoid many of the harsher DUI penalties. In exchange for a guilty plea, the defendant will be placed under the supervision of the court, usually for 90 days.
During this time they will have several criteria to fulfill including paying any court fines, attending traffic school, and avoiding any traffic violations. While this is often the best option for many DUI cases, it is not available to second offenders or anyone with a prior reckless driving conviction.
If you are arrested for drunk driving and have a prior DUI conviction you will want to take the case very seriously. A second conviction can have major financial impacts on anyone. Various fees can be assessed that will often total higher than $3,500 even before court fees, attorney costs, and criminal fines.
Fines issued by the court following a conviction can be up to $2,500, meaning that even without paying court fees and the cost of hiring an attorney you will be on the hook for thousands of dollars for a second DUI. These costs will be raised even higher when you factor in the need to obtain SR-22 insurance, which will result in expensive insurance rates, and the very real possibility of job loss in a number of industries.
When you are arrested for driving over the legal limit you will be subject to a statutory summary suspension of your driving privileges effective 46 days after your citation is issued. You may face a further suspension on conviction, and you must apply for a reinstatement of your license at the end of your suspension period.
You will need to request a formal hearing with the Office of the Secretary of State where you will need to present evidence that you will not pose a threat to other drivers or the general public safety with your driving privileges restored. Most attorneys will be able to assist you with this process but you should be sure to ask before hiring them if this is a service they offer.
Can You Get Court Supervision for a Second DUI?
Court supervision is a mutually beneficial legal option for many DUI cases. It decreases the workload of the court while allowing you to avoid a conviction in addition to many of the harsher consequences that come along with a DUI. With court supervision, you will need to meet several requirements put in place by the judge in order to successfully complete your supervision term. Common requirements include:
- Completion of a rehabilitation or education program for drugs or alcohol
- Full payment of any fines incurred
- Successful completion of traffic school
- Avoiding traffic violations and other legal issues for an assigned period of time
- Completion of a victim impact panel
If you have completed all of the tasks given to you before the completion of your supervision time you will avoid having a conviction added to your record. Unfortunately, this option is only available for a first-time DUI conviction, meaning that as a 2nd-time DUI offender you are not eligible for a sentence of court supervision.
Can You Keep Your License After a Second DUI?
Second DUI convictions will often carry significantly longer license suspension periods alongside the additional penalties you receive. In addition to an administrative suspension, your criminal conviction can see you assigned a license suspension of 5 years. You may be able to have a portion of your driving privileges restored so that you can attend school or work, or drive to necessary appointments such as medical centers or alcohol treatment programs.
In order to do this, you will need to apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP). If you are approved for this permit you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This comes with its own costs, as you will be assessed a fee for device installation, regular maintenance, and calibration as needed.
Can You Avoid a Conviction for a Second DUI?
An experienced criminal defense attorney will know the best legal defenses for DUI cases and will be able to apply them to your unique circumstances to get the best possible result out of your case. Common methods for fighting DUI charges include demonstrating violations by the officer at the time of your drunk driving arrest (such as failing to read you your rights or a lack of probable cause leading to your stop), challenging the results of a breath test machine or the use of certain field sobriety tests, or finding a breach in the chain of custody of evidence in your case.
A DUI charge is not necessarily an open-and-shut case for the prosecutor. There are a number of different defense tactics that talented defense attorneys may be able to employ to help you avoid jail time and a conviction being listed on your criminal record.
Review Your Defense Options With Our Firm
If you are facing a drunk driving offense you should contact a qualified drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible. An Illinois DUI conviction can carry harsh penalties and have a severe impact on your future. You may receive jail time, community service hours, and serious financial consequences, and the resulting entries on both your criminal record and driving record can even affect your professional life. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense under Illinois law, and you will need the services of a knowledgeable defense lawyer to handle it with the level of dedication your case deserves.
At DUI Lawyers 24/7 our DUI criminal defense team is available to explain your legal defense options, develop an aggressive defense, or negotiate a beneficial plea deal for your case. If you are facing a second-time DUI charge contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your arrest details and begin developing your legal defense strategies.