First of all, there is no such thing as a “minor” DUI or “just a DUI”. Any DUI in Illinois can result in criminal penalties, fines, increased insurance costs, and the loss of your driver’s license.
With that disclaimer out of the way, it’s time to turn our attention to aggravated DUI. Any DUI charge that results in felony charges meets the definition of aggravated DUI in Illinois, including:
- A DUI resulting in a driver’s third DUI offense.
- Driving a school bus under the influence of alcohol with minor children on board.
- Causing a drunk driving accident that results great bodily harm, disfigurement, permanent disability of death.
- DUI in a school zone.
Aggravated DUI results in mandatory sentences. This means the penalties cannot be waived and judges have little leeway. A conviction for aggravated DUI results in a mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. This is on top of the collateral consequences that come with having a DUI on your record and administrative penalties that may result in the loss of your driver’s license.
The harsh penalties for aggravated DUI serve as a reminder of why it is so important to fight all DUI charges. Having a previous DUI on your record, particularly those with aggravating factors such as driving in a school zone, take you one step closer to the mandatory sentences that come with aggravated DUI.
In some cases it is possible to defeat the aggravated component of a DUI charge, resulting in a lesser charge with less severe penalties. An experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney can help you explore your defense options and limit your exposure to criminal penalties.