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Is Alternative Sentencing Available in an Illinois DUI Case?

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in DUI

Joliet DUI defense lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can result in a multitude of consequences, including an accident with serious injuries, vehicle damage, driver’s license suspension, not to mention criminal charges in most cases. Illinois penalties for a DUI conviction are stiff and a misdemeanor crime can remain on your permanent driving record. The punishments are enhanced if you are under 21 or have a child passenger in the car at the time of the traffic stop. However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may qualify for alternative sentencing, which is typically not as harsh. A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your legal options and the best course of action to take following a DUI arrest. 

Illinois Deferred Prosecution Programs 

Whether a defendant is eligible for alternative sentencing in Illinois depends on prior criminal history and the severity of those convictions. Those who have a long criminal record are less likely than first-time offenders to receive probation, a lenient sentence, or alternative sentences to jail. Certain criminal offenses in Illinois require incarceration by statute, and probation is not an option. Aggravating factors are also taken into account, including whether a person was injured as a result of the crime, whether a weapon was used, and whether the crime was committed against a mentally disabled or elderly person.

According to Illinois law, alternative sentencing is a way for the state to:

  1. Increase sentencing options to the judiciary of the state;

  2. Utilize programs that offer the offender the ability to become a contributing member of society;

  3. Compensate victims and the communities through restitution; and

  4. Reserve prison space for serious violent offenders.

Court supervision is a common alternate sentence for first-time DUI offenders. No conviction is entered during the period of supervision and upon completion, the case is finalized and classified as a deferred dismissal of the charge. Additional deferred prosecution programs in Illinois can include any of the following:

  • Drug or alcohol treatment program 

  • Community service

  • Anger management classes

  • Probation

  • Restitution

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Illinois has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges for DUI, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing options that do not include prison. Consulting with a diligent Will County DUI defense lawyer who can protect your rights will increase your chances of reduced or dismissed charges. Call the accomplished law office of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC today at 815-727-0100 to learn more and schedule your free consultation. 






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