Penalties assessed for a DUI conviction vary depending on the severity of the charge and any harm allegedly caused during the commission of the crime. In some states, such as Wisconsin, there is no mandatory minimum sentence for a driver that causes a fatal accident while intoxicated. This is poised to change, however, as there is pending legislation in Wisconsin that will impose a mandatory sentence of five years for DUI homicide. If the proposed Wisconsin legislation is approved and becomes a law, it will not have a direct impact on sentencing for fatal DUIs in Illinois but may spur the Illinois legislature to impose stricter minimum penalties. If you are a resident of Illinois and are charged with a DUI following a fatal accident it is critical to engage the services of an experienced Illinois DUI attorney to help you formulate a strong defense.
Penalties for DUI Related Fatalities in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, if a person causes a car accident while intoxicated and the accident results in a fatality, the person may be charged with DUI homicide. Currently, if a person is convicted of a DUI homicide in Wisconsin, they could face a maximum penalty of forty years in prison. There is no mandatory minimum sentence, though, which means that a person convicted of a DUI homicide could face little to no jail time. Pending legislation may change that, however, as it proposes to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. Critics of the bill are concerned that it takes discretion away from judges and ignores the individual facts of each case to enforce a blanket penalty.
Penalties for DUI Related Fatalities in Illinois
Illinois differs from Wisconsin in that there is a statutory mandatory minimum sentence for DUI related fatalities. In Illinois, if an intoxicated person causes a car accident that results in a fatality he or she can be charged with aggravated DUI, which is a Class 2 felony. If a person is convicted of an aggravated DUI for an accident that caused the death of one person, the mandatory minimum sentence is three years and the maximum sentence is fourteen years.
If the accident caused the death of two or more people, the mandatory sentence is six years and the maximum sentence is twenty-eight years. The state allows for the imposition of probation rather than jail time, however, in cases where the court determines extraordinary circumstances exist. If the Wisconsin legislature imposes a mandatory sentence, it may not affect the status of DUI law in Illinois, but it could ultimately inspire the Illinois legislature to impose more stringent penalties for aggravated DUI.
Consult a Capable Illinois DUI Attorney Regarding your Charges
If you are charged with an aggravated DUI following an accident that resulted in one or more deaths, it is vital to consult a capable Illinois DUI attorney regarding your charges and what penalties you may face if convicted. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin, of the Harvatin Law Offices, P.C. is an Illinois DUI attorney with the knowledge and experience needed to help you seek the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. Mr. Harvatin can be contacted through the online form or at 217.525.0520 to schedule a confidential and free meeting to discuss your options.