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Sangamon County man arrested after crashing his car

A Springfield Illinois man was arrested and taken the Sangamon County jail following a crash. The driver was not injured but his passenger and the driver of an oncoming vehicle with which he collided were taken to the hospital due to injuries.

The driver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI), a violation of 625 ILCS 5/11-501. He was also charged with improper lane usage, contrary to 625 ILCS 5/11-709.

This appears to be his first DUI charge, which is ordinarily a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a fine of no more than $2,500.00 and or up to 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-5.5 Improper lane usage is a petty offense punishable by a fine only, not to exceed $500.00. 625 ILCS 5/6-601
However, the DUI law further provides: “(d) (1) Every person convicted of committing a violation of this [DUI] Section shall be guilty of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof if:
(C) the person in committing a violation of subsection (a) [DUI] was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another, when the violation was a proximate cause of the injuries”.

If convicted under this section, the person is guilty of a Class 4 felony, and if sentenced to prison, faces 1-12 years in the Department of Corrections. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(2)(A) and (d)(2)(F) This is known as “aggravated DUI” because it involves commission of a DUI with an additional aggravating (negative) circumstances, in this case, serious injury.

Illinois law provides for a disposition known as court supervision. If a person is granted supervision, he pleads guilty to the offense but no judgment of conviction is entered on his record. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1. (d); People v. Schuning, 106 Ill. 2d 41, 86 Ill. Dec. 922, 476 N.E.2d 423 (1985)

During the period of supervision, which cannot extend any longer than 2 years, the offender must comply with the conditions of supervision , which typically provide that he not violate the law, complete alcohol counseling and pay all fines. Provided that he complies with the terms of the court supervision, the judge will dismiss the case.

However, in a DUI situation, the supervision will be reported to the Secretary of State and remain on the driver’s record forever. 625 ILCS 5/6-204 DUI supervision cannot be expunged. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2.(3)(A) Finally, you may only receive supervision once in your lifetime. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(d)

Given that supervision is reported to the Secretary of State, that you must plead guilty to the charge, that it cannot be expunged and that it is only available once in your life, it may not seem apparent what the attraction is of supervision since the fine is normally higher than if you simply accepted a conviction. One advantage of supervision, whether for DUI or any other offense, is that you cannot be sentenced to any jail time. People v. Roper, 116 Ill. App. 3d 821, 72 Ill. Dec. 495, 452 N.E.2d 748 (1 Dist. 1983)

Another significant reason to seek supervision is that such a disposition, since it is not a conviction, does not cause a driver’s license revocation. This avoids having to present yourself for a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Even though you may be eligible for DUI supervision, you are not entitled to it. The judge may enter an order for supervision after considering the circumstances of the offense, and your history, character and condition, if the judge is of the opinion that:

(1) you are not likely to commit further crimes;
(2) you and the public would be best served if you were not to receive a criminal record; and
(3) in the best interests of justice an order of supervision is more appropriate than a sentence otherwise permitted under this law. The judge must consider the statement of the prosecuting authority with regard to these standards. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(c)

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