Dennis Dwyer is a Chicago DUI Lawyer that is experienced and dedicated to protecting your rights.
The news feed is full of death related DUI cases across the country. In Jackson, Mississippi a man has been sentenced to 24 years for the death of a 14 year old boy during a DUI related crash. In Florida, a man faces DUI homicide charges after a DUI related crash that killed a passenger in his car. A 19 year old girl from Fresno was sentenced to 6 years for killing a man in a DUI related crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2014. That is a lot of devastated families. When a DUI related crash ends in a death, it becomes an aggravated DUI, which in Illinois, is a felony.
Lawmakers distinguish between DUIs. A first time DUI is most often a misdemeanor charge. However, there are some circumstances that make a DUI charge much more serious. The following are some circumstances that turn a DUI charge into an Aggravated DUI charge:
- Third or subsequent DUI (Class 2 felony)
- DUI while driving a school bus carrying passengers under 18 (Class 4 felony)
- DUI while driving a vehicle-for-hire with passengers (Class 4 felony)
- DUI resulting in great bodily harm (Class 4 felony)
- Second or subsequent DUI with a passenger under 16 (Class 2 felony)
- DUI with a passenger under 16 involved in a crash with bodily harm to the child (Class 2 felony)
- DUI without a valid license (Class 4 felony)
- DUI without liability insurance (Class 4 felony)
- DUI after conviction of reckless homicide (Class 3 felony)
- DUI in school zone with a crash with bodily harm (Class 4 felony)
- DUI resulting in death (Class 2 felony)
Penalties for DUI Resulting in Death
Felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors. While misdemeanors can only be sentenced with up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, felonies have much more serious consequences. Every case is different and circumstances will determine the actual sentence. However, in general, a conviction for a DUI that resulted in a death is a Class 2 felony.
- Class 2 felony. 3 to 7 years in prison or 7 to 14 years for an extended sentence, and up to $25,000 fines.
Protect Yourself and Others
Each time you get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, you are putting yourself and others at risk. You don’t know if this time you will get into a crash that results in a death. Protect yourself and others by choosing not to drive drunk. DUIs that result in a death have serious penalties that can put you in prison for a lengthy sentence. Whether you wanted to hurt someone or not, DUI related deaths are a Class 2 felony which can, and many times does, result in a prison sentence. The best way to make sure that you are not held responsible for hurting or killing someone in a DUI related crash is to drive sober.
DUI Defense Attorney
However, if you do find yourself in the situation where you have been charged with a DUI related death, you must hire a DUI defense attorney. Your best protection during legal proceedings is to have a Criminal Defense Attorney in your corner. Dennis F. Dwyer has handled hundreds of DUI cases, and he is prepared to help his clients get the best possible result. Call him today to talk about your DUI case.