DUI Defense Attorneys | Presence of a Minor in a DUI Charge

Just having a minor in the car is not enough to upgrade it from a misdemeanor to a felony aggravated DUI, but there are minimum sentences imposed upon conviction. If you have been charged with a DUI and a minor was in the vehicle, it is best to have DUI defense attorneys on your side. You still have rights and The MacNeil Firm will fight to make sure that they are always protected. Call us for a free consultation at 708-218-0947.

In Illinois, the operative age is sixteen. Anybody who is sixteen or younger, that will trigger those additional penalties. For a first DUI offense, having a minor in the vehicle would add twenty-five days of community service in a program benefiting children, plus a mandatory $1,000 fine to any sentence imposed by the judge. A second violation with a minor can result in an upgrade to Aggravated DUI, a class 4 felony.

Could Having Aggravated DUI Charges Impact A Family Law Case Like Child Custody?

I have seen situations involving a DUI with a minor in the vehicle where the prosecutor brings additional criminal charges of child endangerment. If that occurs then basically, you treat it like any other criminal offense. You look at the evidence, and you evaluate whether you think the state can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. As far as losing custody of their children, it is rare to have a situation where the state comes in and the Department of Children and Family Services are trying to seek custody of the child and terminate parental rights.

A more common situation would be where two parents were fighting over custody of the child. In that situation I think that the fact that an individual was charged with a DUI and the child was in the car, the other parent could use that as leverage in the case. Whether or not that would actually be enough for them to lose custody, depends on the judge. This is where it can be beneficial to have experienced and caring DUI defense attorneys on your side. Our team will go over the facts of the case and make sure you have a defense that protects you and your rights to your children.

Does Illinois Have a Blood Alcohol Level Threshold Where The Defendant May Be Charged With An Aggravated DUI?

Blood alcohol level alone is not enough to trigger an upgrade to an aggravated DUI. In other words, you could have an extremely high blood alcohol level in a first time DUI, perhaps double or triple the limit, but your case would remain a misdemeanor DUI. There might be some additional misdemeanor penalties imposed because of the high blood alcohol content, but a high BAC is not enough by itself to trigger an upgrade to aggravated DUI.

Aggravated DUI generally is a felony case with fines ranging up to $25,000. The penalties could be anything from a felony conviction and probation up to multiple years in prison, depending on the class of the felony. There are other enhancing or aggravating factors that could trigger mandatory prison sentences.

When you work with our DUI defense attorneys, it is possible to get charges reduced. We have successfully reduced aggravated DUIs to misdemeanor DUIs on many occasions. This is accomplished through negotiating with the prosecutor, and actually this is a situation where we would want to use evidence of alcohol treatment or in-patient rehab to our advantage. That generally would play an important part in this negotiation. We would also emphasize any other favorable or mitigating factors to the prosecutor in an effort to get the charge reduced.

DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me
DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me
DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me
DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me
DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me
DUI Defense Attorneys | The MacNeil Firm | DUI Defense Attorneys Near Me

What Sets our DUI Defense attorneys apart In Handling these Cases?

At The MacNeil Firm, we have extensive experience in representing people in aggravated and felony DUI cases. I also have extensive experience representing individuals with prior DUI arrests. The approach we take is the exactly the same whether it is your first offense or whether somebody died in an accident as a result of a DUI arrest.

The difference is our experience, knowledge, and courtroom skills. The potential penalties are much higher, so the stakes are much higher. Many lawyers do not take aggravated DUI cases because it is very easy to be intimidated by the potential consequences. We have the mental strength and determination to persevere through that, and produce successful results for my clients, just like we’ve been doing for decades.