Why is a Second DUI So Serious?

DUII frequently receive phone calls from clients who are facing their second DUI. Many times, they do not understand how serious their case is and what they are facing. If you have been arrested and are charged with a DUI, and it’s your second DUI, you need to understand how serious this case could be and what the long-term implications to you could be. Not only could it cost you lots of money, but you could be labeled a convicted criminal for the rest of your life, end up in jail, sentenced to Probation, and lose your license for a very long time. Let me explain to you what makes a second DUI so serious.

A second DUI is a class A Misdemeanor which carries a possible jail sentence of up to one year in jail. A DUI will be considered a second DUI in Illinois as long as this is your second DUI ever. Unlike many other states, Illinois does not have a cut-off for how long ago your first DUI was for it to be considered your second DUI. Many states do not consider a DUI if it’s more than 10 years old. Illinois has no such limitation on how old your first DUI has to be in order for them to consider this is your second DUI. Most people that I talk to do not understand that it does not matter that their first DUI was 20 or 25 years ago. As long as they had a prior DUI, Illinois will consider your new DUI to be a second DUI.

You cannot receive Court Supervision for a second DUI. Court Supervision is a sentence that is not considered a criminal conviction on your criminal record. Court Supervision is simply not available for a second DUI. This means that a second DUI will result in a criminal conviction. Since you will be convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, you will now have a criminal conviction on your criminal record that will appear on a routine background search. This may affect your ability to keep your job, get a job, obtain financial aid to go to school, or obtain and receive certain government benefits.

If you are convicted of a second DUI, you must serve five days in jail or perform 240 hours of community service. Your driver’s license will be revoked for at least 5 years. This means that you will lose your license for at least 5 years. You may petition the Secretary of State to get a Restricted Driving Permit that will allow you to drive under certain limited circumstances, but you will not even be allowed to file such a petition for at least one year after your second DUI. The process to petition the Secretary of State can be very expensive and is not always successful.

If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) at the time of your second DUI arrest was .16 or above, the penalties for your second DUI will increase substantially. You must serve at least two days in jail. The two-day jail sentence is mandatory. It cannot be waived by anyone or by doing something else. You will be facing a minimum fine of $1,250, plus, you must pay a $1,000 Assessment Fee which is in addition to the fine and the court costs. The amount of the court costs will depend on what county your case was in.

You could be charged with a class 4 Felony for a second DUI under certain circumstances. If you have a prior Reckless Homicide on your driving record, or the DUI caused an accident which resulted in great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement to anyone, or if your license was suspended or revoked because of a DUI, or you did not have a valid license or liability insurance at the time of the DUI arrest, you will be charged with a class 4 Felony. You can receive probation for a a Class 4 felony but it also carries a possible prison sentence of between 1 to 3 years.

If at the time of the second DUI you had a passenger in the car who was under the age of 16 or you were in an accident that injured anyone who was under the age of 16, you will be charged with a Class 2 Felony. A Class 2 Felony carries a possible prison sentence of between 3 to 7 years. A sentence for a felony DUI conviction carries increased fines and financial penalties, and many hours of community service.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, DUI lawyer. James Dimeas has been handling DUI cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County for over 25 years. Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates name James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer In the State of Illinois For the Year 2018.” The National Trial Lawyers recognized James Dimeas as a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” Expertise recognize James Dimeas as a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys awarded James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” AVVO rates James Dimeas as “Superb”, the highest rating possible for any DUI lawyer in the United States.

If you are being charged with a first or second DUI, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas by calling him at 847-807-7405.

Additional Blogs:

Annual DUI Study Ranks Suburbs for DUI Arrests, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, July, 3, 2018.

What Happens if I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, May 8, 2018.