Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Types of Illinois DUI sentences

At some point in every DUI case a person will have to decide whether to go to trial and contest the alleged evidence against them, or plead guilty with the hopes of negotiating a favorable disposition. In making this decision, a person will want to know what his/her sentence might be. The answer depends on a large number of factors and will vary in each individual case.

The first consideration is whether this was someone’s first DUI. The typical first-time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which is the highest level of a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, the potential sentence is up to 364 days in jail and up to $2500 in fines. For a first DUI, a person may be eligible for court supervision instead of a conviction, which would allow the person to avoid jail time and would also not revoke that person’s driver’s license. Whether supervision will be granted for a first DUI depends on a discretionary judgment from the judge and/or prosecutor based upon the likelihood of the person getting another DUI, the person’s prior criminal history, and whether the interest of justice would be served by such a sentence. The alternative to supervision is a conviction with a probationary period called probation or conditional discharge.

Regardless of whether the person receives supervision or a conviction, they will need to satisfy certain conditions as part of the sentence. These will typically include paying a base fine and court costs, completing some amount of DUI treatment classes, and not committing a new offense during the period of supervision or conditional discharge. The amount of jail time or community service, if any, will vary depending on factors surrounding the DUI stop. For example by statute, if a person submits to a chemical test and has a BAC of 0.16 or greater, there is a mandatory 100 hours community service and a minimum fine of $500 that may be imposed in addition to any penalty by the court. Again, however, this is assuming that a person is only charged with his/her first offense for DUI, and no other more serious offenses were charged, which would increase potential exposure.

A second DUI is still a Class A misdemeanor, however a person is typically ineligible for supervision, and there may be mandatory jail time or community service involved. DUIs can also be felonies in some situations, which are potentially punishable by prison.

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If you, a family member or friend has been charged with any criminal or traffic matter, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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