Illinois takes drunk driving very seriously, even if it’s only your first offense. However, if you have a prior conviction for drunk driving and you are arrested for a second, third, or fourth DUI, the stakes are incredibly high. However, in most cases, judges have the discretion to keep you out of jail after a conviction; but they may need some convincing. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, our DUI defense attorney has more than 20 years of experience defending clients facing repeat DUI offenses. He has the skill, knowledge and determination needed to meet the government’s case head-on.Penalties for Those with Prior DUI Convictions
The criminal justice system understands that people can make mistakes. Thus, a prosecutor may take it easy on you if it’s your first DUI. However, if you end up back in court with a subsequent DUI arrest, you can bet they won’t give that benefit the second time around. In fact, under Illinois law, both judges and prosecutors have limited discretion in terms of sentencing. This is because state law imposes mandatory minimum sentences in most cases.
One thing to keep in mind when reviewing the punishments for repeat DUIs is that Illinois does not have a look-back period. This means that any DUI conviction—no matter how old—can be used as a prior offense by the court system.Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction
If you have one prior DUI conviction, a second DUI conviction is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by either a mandatory term of imprisonment of five days or 240 hours of mandatory community service. If it is your second DUI conviction within 20 years, your driver’s license will be revoked for five years. Your vehicle registration will also be suspended.Penalties for a Third DUI Conviction
If you have two prior DUI convictions and get arrested for a third DUI, you’ll be facing an aggravated DUI, which is a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the court must sentence you to either at least ten days in jail or 480 hours of community service. However, if your blood-alcohol content was over .16, you must serve at least 90 days in jail, and, regardless of your BAC, the court has the option to sentence you to up to seven years in jail. The Illinois Secretary of State will also suspend your driver’s license for ten years.
Needless to say, the penalties for a repeat DUI are severe. However, it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. It’s the prosecutor’s burden to prove you guilty—if they can. This is where an experienced Cook County DUI defense attorney can help. There are many defenses in DUI cases, ranging from challenging the officer’s conduct leading up to your arrest to disputing the reliability of the chemical test results the prosecutor plans to introduce at trial. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you identify which defenses will give you the best chance at beating the case.Are You Facing a Repeat DUI Offense?
If you recently picked up a Cook County DUI case and already have one DUI conviction on your record, it is imperative you reach out to an experienced DUI defense attorney for assistance. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we understand what’s on the line. We also understand how to successfully defend against Illinois DUI cases. With more than two decades of hands-on experience representing clients charged with drunk driving offenses, we can identify a compelling defense in even the toughest cases. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, we are here to help you get out from under the case that’s hanging over your head, regardless of your past record or the evidence against you. To learn more, give the Fotopoulos Law Office a call at 708-942-8400 or through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Tinley Park, Burbank, Oak Lawn, Homer Glen, Mokena, Bedford Park, Palos Heights, and throughout northern Illinois.