Clients often want to get their DUI cases over with quickly. Sometimes, the evidence is so overwhelming that a swift guilty plea to a lesser charge is actually in the client’s best interest. But many times, pleading guilty to a defendable DUI may result in greater trouble ahead. Particularly when it comes to sentencing under the habitual criminal statute.
A recent Illinois appellate court has held that Class 2 or greater felonies under the Illinois Vehicle Code can be included for purposes of sentencing under the Habitual Criminal statute. (See People v Dailey.) The Habitual Criminal statute states that if you have been convicted of two Class 2 or greater felonies, you may be sentenced as a Class X offender on a third Class 1 or 2 felony. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-95b Habitual Criminal). Such felonies must have been committed after 1978 and cannot come from the same incident. Under the Vehicle Code, a third Aggravated DUI may result in sentencing as a habitual criminal. A class X felony carries a sentence of 6 to 30 years in prison.
If you are charged with an Illinois DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best options. Maybe your performance on field sobriety tests or even your driving did not show impairment. Maybe the cops had no probable cause to stop you. Even if the evidence is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may help negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)