Interviewer: When you say the minimum, I know every case is different and there’s nothing set in stone, but is there a general outline of what you’re able to do for clients in most circumstances?
Brian: There are so many different factors in representation. The legislature does set out what the minimum and the maximum fines and fees and sentence are on DUI’s and aggravated DUI’s.
Minimum Sentences for a DUI Charge
For a first-time regular DUI with no prior DUI convictions, the minimum sentence is 1 day in jail and a maximum of 6 months in jail. That is for a first-time regular misdemeanor DUI. For a first time extreme DUI where someone’s blood alcohol content is .15 or above, the minimum sentence for a first-time extreme DUI is 30 days jail, and the maximum sentence is 6 months in jail.
If you know what you’re doing on a case like that, it is possible, even though the minimum sentence is 30 days, to get most of that time not actually spent in jail, instead it is spent on something that’s an alternative to jail. For a super extreme DUI, which is having a blood alcohol level tested at or above .20, tested within two hours of driving, if you have a first-time super extreme DUI with no prior DUI convictions, the minimum sentence is 45 days in jail, and the maximum sentence is six months in jail.
Minimum Sentences for Repeat DUI Offenders
If it is your second- time regular DUI, the minimum sentence is 90 days in jail, and the maximum sentence is six months in jail. If it’s your second-time extreme DUI, the minimum is sentence is 120 days in jail, and the maximum is 6 months in jail. If it is your second-time super extreme DUI, the minimum sentence and the maximum sentence is 6 months in jail.
When I refer to second time DUI’s, it just means that you have a prior that is any type of DUI. It’s not required that the first one be a super extreme and the second one be super extreme for it to be considered a second-time super extreme. You only need to have some other prior DUI conviction and currently be charged with super extreme to where a conviction would be considered a second-time super extreme DUI.
Penalties for Felony DUI
Felonies are a little bit different. A class 6 aggravated DUI, which is driving under the influence while you have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, that can technically carry a minimum sentence of as low as one day, and the maximum sentence is two years in prison. That’s for a first-time offender. For second-time offenses and third-time offense with any prior felony conviction, it’s substantially worse, up to, I believe, 5.75 years maximum.
A class 4 aggravated DUI, first time, no prior felony convictions ever, has a minimum sentence of 4 months in the Department of Corrections and of maximum sentence of 3.75 years in the Department of Corrections. Depending on any prior felony convictions on that type of charge, the sentencing goes high as 15 years in prison. I’ve seen people that all they’ve ever done is drink and drive their entire lives. They never hurt anyone but they just keep doing it. I’ve seen other clients represented by other attorneys that they’ve gotten 15 years in prison because they just cannot stop drinking and driving. It’s taken a while for them to get there; it’s taken about nine convictions or so.
But still 15 years because you just can’t stop consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel? It’s a horrible thing. The maximum sentence is meant for the worst of the worst, the most extreme people. In that case, what that guy did was really extreme. Nine chances to get his act together and he just couldn’t do it. He got 15 years.