DUI Hit-and-Run Charges in Illinois

Facing a DUI hit-and-run charge in Illinois can be a daunting experience. The combination of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident where there may be injuries or property damage significantly compounds the legal consequences. This detailed analysis aims to clarify the statutes, legal definitions, processes involved, and the penalties that may ensue, helping those accused understand their rights and the complexities of their situation.

Understanding DUI and Hit-and-Run Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, a DUI hit-and-run is governed by two main statutes: 625 ILCS 5/11-401, which pertains to leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death, and 625 ILCS 5/11-501, which addresses driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds. When these two offenses coincide, the legal stakes are significantly elevated.

Legal Definitions and Statutory Requirements

– DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501): A person commits a DUI if they operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any intoxicant, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or while impaired by medication.
– Hit-and-Run (625 ILCS 5/11-401): This offense occurs when a driver involved in a vehicle accident that results in personal injury or death fails to stop, provide information, and render aid. The law requires such individuals to remain at the scene until fulfilling these duties.

Combining these, a DUI hit-and-run charge is filed when an individual not only drives under the influence but also leaves the scene of an accident without complying with legal responsibilities.

Penalties for DUI Hit-and-Run in Illinois

The penalties for a DUI hit-and-run are severe, reflecting the serious nature of the offense:

  • Jail Time: Depending on the circumstances, such as previous convictions and the severity of the accident’s outcome, penalties can range from one year in jail to up to 15 years in prison.
  • Fines: Fines can escalate to $25,000, especially if the hit-and-run resulted in serious injury or death.
  • License Suspension/Revocation: Convictions lead to a significant suspension or revocation of driving privileges, often for several years.

The Arrest Process

Initial Detention and Evidence Collection

Following a suspected DUI hit-and-run, law enforcement will initiate an investigation that could include gathering surveillance footage, witness statements, and physical evidence from the scene. If an officer identifies a suspect, an arrest can be made based on probable cause.

Processing and Chemical Testing

Once arrested, suspects undergo processing, which might include chemical testing for alcohol or drugs. This step is crucial as the results can directly impact the severity of charges and potential defenses.

Navigating the Criminal Case Process


The accused will face a formal reading of charges at an arraignment and will be asked to enter a plea. It is vital to have legal representation at this stage to ensure that one’s rights are protected.


During the discovery phase, the defense has the opportunity to review all prosecution evidence. This may include traffic camera footage, BAC test results, and witness accounts.

Pre-Trial Motions and Trial

The defense might file motions to suppress evidence if there were issues such as improper BAC testing procedures or violations of constitutional rights during the arrest. If the case goes to trial, both the prosecution and defense will present their arguments, and the accused’s attorney will work to cast doubt on the evidence provided, particularly regarding the circumstances of the hit-and-run and the accuracy of the DUI allegations.

Contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg

If you are facing DUI hit-and-run charges in Illinois, it is imperative to seek skilled legal representation immediately. Each case has unique facets that require careful analysis and an aggressive defense strategy to navigate the complexities effectively.

Contact The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 or toll-free at (800) 803-1442. Offering a free consultation 24/7, we are dedicated to defending your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome in your case. Serving clients across Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, and Lake County, we are committed to delivering comprehensive legal representation tailored to your specific needs.

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