A former Illinois police officer has been charged with an alleged drunk driving accident in St. Clair County. According to prosecutors, the former officer was driving a GMC Sierra when she struck the rear of another vehicle that was stopped at a railroad crossing. The other driver suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel at the scene. The former officer’s bail has been set at $50,000. She was employed with the police department but was off duty when the fatal car accident happened. Her employment has since been terminated.
Aggravated DUI Charges in Illinois
This case is an example of how Illinois prosecutors can bump up DUI charges to aggravated DUI charges. Certain factors lead to an aggravated DUI charge, which carries more serious penalties than a regular DUI charge. Typically, an Illinois DUI is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of up to one year. As defined by Illinois statute or law, certain aggravating factors can bump up a DUI to a felony DUI, also called an aggravated DUI.
Felony DUIs carry a maximum prison sentence of over one year. Typically, defendants who are convicted of aggravated DUI will spend one to three years in prison. Various factors can lead prosecutors to charge defendants with aggravated DUI instead of a DUI, including the following:
- The defendant has been convicted of two prior DUIs
- The defendant was driving with a suspended or revoked license for any of the following: a prior DUI, leaving an accident scene involving personal injury or death, driving under a previous summary suspension, or reckless homicide
- The defendant was involved in an accident that caused someone else great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement
- The defendant was involved in an accident that resulted in bodily harm to a minor under the age 16
- The defendant was involved in an accident involving a fatality. When the accident involves one fatality, the defendant will face up to 14 years in prison. If there were multiple fatalities, the defendant could face 28 years in prison
- The defendant was driving a school bus with at least one passenger under age 18
- The defendant has been charged with a second DUI after being previously convicted for an alcohol-related homicide. In this case, the defendant will spend one to three years in prison if convicted
Contact an Experienced Chicago DUI Lawyer
If you are facing aggravated DUI charges, your freedom is in jeopardy. Defendants convicted of an aggravated DUI face a fine of up to $25,000 and the possibility of serving significant jail time. If this is your second, third, or subsequent DUI charge, you could serve up to 30 years in jail, depending on the circumstances. When you need a lawyer, experience matters. Attorney Thomas Glasgow has handled over 5,000 DUI cases over the course of his distinguished career. He is also a well-respected authority and published author on the subject. Contact Glasgow & Olsson today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled DUI defense lawyers.