You have never been charged with drunk driving. But this time when you left the party, you ran a red light and plowed into another car. You felt really bad that the other person was rushed to the hospital. Then the police started questioning you.

If you caused great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement to someone in an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you can be charged with aggravated DUI, a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. If the person you injured was under age 16, you can be charged with aggravated DUI even if they were not greatly harmed.

You may also be charged with aggravated DUI if this is your third or higher DUI offense. Even if this is your second DUI, it is aggravated if you had a child with you. A DUI charge can also be enhanced if you have a previous conviction for DUI-related reckless homicide, if you lack liability insurance or a driver’s license, or your license was already suspended for alcohol-related reasons.

Aggravated DUI is not limited to driving automobiles. You can be charged if you were operating a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or watercraft that resulted in death. Needless to say, driving a school bus or in a school zone while under the influence is not a good idea and also grounds for the enhanced charge.

If you are charged with Aggravated DUI, you should immediately contact an attorney to help protect your rights and to help with your defense. As in nearly all criminal matters, the State must still prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the basis for the charge, an experienced criminal attorney can determine if the state has sufficient evidence against you. Was the injury caused serious enough to qualify as great bodily harm? Did you reasonably believe that you had liability insurance? Can the State prove that you were the one driving or that you were actually under the influence?

Even if the State has more than sufficient evidence to convict you, an experienced attorney may be able to work out a more beneficial plea agreement than you could by yourself.

If you are charged with a Aggravated DUI, you should not speak about your case to the police or anyone else about your case. Any statements that you make can be used against you later. If you are taken into police custody, you must tell them “I wish to remain silent. I wish to have an attorney present,’ In order to protect your Miranda rights.
If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(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.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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