Illinois DUI law provides for escalating criminal penalties for each new DUI charge. In the more extreme cases, probation is not an option; you will be sentenced to prison (the Illinois Department of Corrections, not just the county jail). You should also expect to pay higher and higher fines for each new DUI offense.
In addition, upon being convicted of DUI, you will have a driver’s license revocation. If you have not had a successful driver’s license reinstatement hearing, any later DUI arrests will mean you were also driving with a revoked license. Upon conviction for that offense, you will face jail time separate and apart from any jail or prison time you receive if you are convicted of the new DUI. In addition, your license will be revoked for another year.
Even though at the time you committed the earlier DUIS the law do not provide for more penalties, those old DUIS can still be used against you later. The Illinois Supreme Court has concluded that every person is assumed to know what the law is at the time he commits an offense. While this is a doubtful proposition, it leads to the result that at the time you committed the newest offense, you were “on notice” that the previous offenses you committed would be held against you. As a result, the concept of due process of law (fair hearing) has been satisfied, according to the Court.
Because at the time you commit a DUI offense you do not know what the future holds, it is very dangerous to throw up your hands and plead guilty, as that guilty plea will come back to haunt you, possibly even years later if you are charged with DUI in the future. Therefore, even if you are facing a first DUI charge, you should consult with an Illinois DUI lawyer.