Being pulled over and charged with driving under the influence never makes for a good night. When you are accused of DUI after being involved in an accident that resulted in death or a serious injury to another person, however, being found guilty of such a charge can impact the rest of your life.
Overview of Aggravated DUI with Death or Great Bodily Harm
The laws surrounding aggravated DUI is set out in Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-501, which states that a person "shall be guilty of aggravated driving under the influence" if the person "was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another."
A person can also be charged with aggravated DUI if the person was involved in a car accident which resulted in the death of another person.
In both cases, a prosecutor must prove that the person's drunk driving was the "proximate cause" of the injury or death, meaning that the injuries or death were directly caused by the person driving under the influence.
Penalties for Conviction of Aggravated DUI Involving Death or Great Bodily Harm
Aggravated DUI is a class 4 felony. The repercussions of being found guilty of DUI which led to death or serious bodily harm can be devastating. If your accident caused great bodily harm or permanent disability to another person, you can face DUI penalties, including a prison sentence of up to twelve years. If your accident resulted in death, the punishment is even steeper, and is dependent on the number of people killed:
- If one person was killed, a prison sentence between 3 and 14 years;
- If two or more people were killed, imprisonment for 6 to 28 years.
If you're facing such a charge in Illinois, it's critical to arm yourself with the representation of a criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of defending against serious DUI charges. A DUI defense attorney may be able to assert a legal defense which could lessen the severity of your punishment if convicted.
Charged with Aggravated DUI After a Serious Accident in Illinois? We're Here to Help
If you've been charged with aggravated DUI in Illinois following an accident that resulted in death or great bodily harm, the best decision that you can make for your future is to retain a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. No matter what the circumstances, you should never try to fight such a serious charge on your own--the stakes are too high, and your future is in jeopardy.
The team of criminal defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland have dedicated their lives to helping those who are facing criminal charges get the competent representation they need. Don't wait until it is too late to defend against your charge. To speak with a member of our DUI defense team about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call the office nearest to you today--for our downtown Chicago office, call (312) 238-9007, or for our DuPage location, call (630) 261-9098.