Most states have comparable DUI laws. Specifically, a state must typically prove that a driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood-alcohol level of .08% in order to convict the driver of a DUI offense. Despite the similarities in state DUI laws, many states do not recognize out-of-state DUI convictions or have not clearly defined how such convictions should be treated. Recently, however, Kansas and other states have expressly stated that the courts can consider DUI convictions that occur in other states as prior DUI offenses in certain circumstances. If you are accused of a DUI offense in Illinois and were previously convicted of DUI in another state, it is smart to meet with an Illinois DUI defense attorney to assess what penalties you may face if convicted.
Kansas Law Regarding Out of State DUI Convictions
Recently, the Kansas Supreme Court expressly granted trial courts the authority to view previous DUI convictions in Missouri as comparable to the Kansas law. The decision was handed down in a DUI case on appeal from the district court, in which the pertinent issue was whether the defendant, who had two prior DUI convictions in Missouri, should be charged with a felony DUI offense in Kansas.
The court clarified that not all DUI convictions that arise out of the laws of other states should be considered prior DUI convictions for the purposes of DUI prosecution. Instead, the court cautioned that the ruling was limited to DUI convictions for offenses that are comparable to the crime described in the Kansas DUI law.
Illinois’ Consideration of Out of State DUI Convictions
In Illinois, out-of-state DUI convictions are essentially given the same weight as those that occur within the state. Specifically, Illinois law explicitly allows for the use of similar out-of-state DUIs as prior convictions. Thus, DUI convictions imposed under the laws of other states can result in increased penalties if a person is subsequently convicted of DUI in Illinois.
Further, if a person is convicted of DUI in another state, and their conviction is reported to the Secretary of State, they can lose their driver’s license. The duration of a license revocation depends, in part, on whether the conviction is for a first or subsequent DUI offense. First-time offenders face a license revocation of one year. For a second offense within twenty years, the revocation will last five years, and for third offenses that occur within a thirty-year time period, the revocation will last ten years.
Meet with a Skilled Illinois DUI Defense Attorney
Illinois is one of few states that regard out-of-state DUI convictions as prior offenses. If you are accused of a DUI crime in Illinois, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney to discuss your options for seeking a just outcome. Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a skilled Illinois DUI defense attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you to pursue the best result available under the facts of your case. You can reach Mr. Harvatin via the form online or at 217.525.0520 to set up a meeting.