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What Happens If You Get Three DUIs in Illinois?

Posted on behalf of Edward J. Donahue Law, P.C. | December 27, 2023

If you’re facing a third DUI charge in Illinois, you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. The potential penalties you face are severe, possibly including hefty fines, probation, jail time, and significant consequences for your personal and professional life. Fortunately, a skilled defense attorney can work to shield you from these penalties. They can use their knowledge of Illinois DUI laws to develop a strategic defense and explore all avenues for a favorable outcome in your case.

A Third DUI Is a Class 2 Felony

In Illinois, a third DUI conviction is a Class 2 felony, meaning the offense is considered an aggravated DUI. This type of charge can result in a revocation of your driving privileges for at least ten years and a suspension of your vehicle registration. You could also face additional penalties based on specific conditions of the offense, such as the following.

High BAC Level

If your BAC was 0.16% or more when the citation occurred, the law mandates a minimum of 90 days in jail as a penalty. You’ll also face a minimum fine of $2,500 in addition to any other criminal or administrative punishments you receive.

Transporting a Minor

Driving under the influence with a child under 16 in the vehicle can also lead to severe consequences. For one, you’ll face a mandatory fine of $25,000. Plus, you’ll be required to do 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

How to Fight a Third DUI

The stakes are high when you’re facing a third DUI charge. Here’s what a defense lawyer can do to fight the charge and protect your rights:

  • Investigate the Circumstances:Your lawyer will gather all available information about the incident. This includes talking to witnesses, reviewing video footage if available, and examining the arrest report. Any inconsistency or error they find could be useful for your defense.
  • Review the Arrest Details: Your lawyer can look closely at how the police conducted your arrest. They’ll check if the officers followed legal procedures during the DUI stop. For instance, if the police didn’t have a valid reason to stop you or if they didn’t administer sobriety tests correctly, your lawyer could use this information to challenge their evidence.
  • Analyze the Breathalyzer Test: The accuracy of the breathalyzer test used to measure your BAC is of critical importance to the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer will look into whether the device was properly calibrated and maintained. If there’s any doubt about the test’s accuracy, they can argue that the results are unreliable.
  • Negotiate with Prosecutors:Sometimes, the best strategy is to negotiate with the prosecutors for a reduced charge or penalty. Your lawyer will use their understanding of your case and Illinois law to argue for a lighter sentence.
  • Prepare for Trial: If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will prepare you accordingly. They’ll develop a strong defense strategy, gather evidence, and line up witnesses to testify on your behalf. Their goal will be to introduce reasonable doubt about your guilt before the court.
  • Explore Alternative Sentencing:In some cases, your lawyer might work to get you into a treatment program or seek alternative sentencing options instead of jail time.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Illinois Now

Do you still have questions about fighting a third DUI charge in Illinois? Contact Edward J. Donahue Law, P.C. to discuss your situation in a confidential consultation session.

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