If you have had previous DUI convictions, then a new one is a serious offense. IF you are convicted of a third DUI, you can face fines up to five figures, time in jail, and other serious penalties. A third offense for driving under the influence is serious because it is no longer a misdemeanor offense. Instead, a third DUI is a Class 2 felony. Class 2 felonies can be punishable by three to seven years in prison. However, the offense is also probational, which means that instead of prison you could be just sentenced to probation. Probation for Class 2 felonies can last up to four years but if the court does sentence someone on their third DUI offense to just probation, jail is likely to follow.
What Is a Class 2 Felony?
Felonies are a more serious case of crimes and are broken down into five different classifications that include Class X, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Class 2 felonies are punishable by time in state prison, as well as fines that don’t exceed $25,000. Prison sentences for these felonies in Illinois are done by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Penalties for Class 2 felonies are determined by a judge and based on your case. Courts can apply the maximum penalty within the felony charge.
Penalties of Getting a Third DUI
Jail: Since a third DUI is a Class 2 felony you will likely do time in jail if convicted. This includes a minimum sentence of 10 days or 480 hours of community service. You will have to do a minimum time of 90 days in jail if your blood alcohol level exceeds .16%. The maximum sentence will be three to seven years, but it can be up to 14 years if there are aggravating factors present.
Community Service: If you have a passenger in the car under 16, you will need to do 25 days of community service with a program that helps children.
Fines: There are a number of fines that can be imposed after a third DUI offense. The maximum fine is $25,000. This will also be the minimum fine if you had a passenger 16 years or younger in the car. The minimum fine is going to be $2,500 if you had a BAC of .16% or higher.
License Suspension: In addition to fines and jail time, you will also have your license suspended for 10 years. If you want to get your license back after suspension, then you need to get a Restricted Driving Permit and keep this for five years. This allows you to drive to a limited number of places that are considered necessary, such as going to medical treatment, school, or work. In order to get this permit, you will also need to have an ignition interlock device or breathalyzer in your car. You are responsible for the cost of the device, which can be $30 a month. You will also need to participate in a rehabilitative program as a condition of getting the permit. It can be even harder to get a permit if you have refused to submit for chemical testing.
Alcohol Evaluation and Treatment: Every DUI offender needs to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation to see if substance abuse is a problem.
Life after a Third DUI Conviction
A felony is a serious offense so after you serve your sentence, your life may not just go back to normal and you could have some challenges. The felony will stay on your record. Convicted felons may have trouble finding employment, even though Illinois has been trying to help convicted felons. In 2013, there was legislation signed which says that employers aren’t allowed to ask any job seekers about criminal history on their job applications. If you are a convicted felon, it can be harder to qualify for federal assistance for student loans. You may not be allowed to apply for any federal assistance you need in the future, such as welfare. Convictions can’t be expunged for any criminal offense in the state, whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor.
Getting a Lawyer for a Third DUI Offense
You should avoid getting a third DUI if possible but if you find that you are charged with your third one then a Woodridge DUI lawyer can be your best option to avoid some serious penalties. While it is almost certain you will do some jail time after a third offense, having an experienced lawyer that executes good DUI defense strategies is your best shot at avoiding serious jail time. Good time credits can help reduce the time you serve, and work release may also be a possibility. A lawyer can help you determine if your case should go to trial or if you should take a plea. Every case is different, but it can be helpful to take a plea for probation if the prosecution has a case against you. If the case goes to trial, you have an even higher likelihood of a prison sentence. An attorney can help you understand the facts of your case better and help you make a decision about the best course of action.