2023 How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges in Illinois, it’s crucial to seek the help of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including hefty fines, license suspension, and jail time. In addition to the penalties handed down by the state, the serious stigma associated with a DUI conviction can have permanent effects on your personal life, relationships, and career prospects.

Police and prosecutors take DUI cases very seriously. Therefore, the only appropriate response is a powerful legal defense to help tell your side of the story, hold the police and the process accountable, and mitigate the potential consequences.

What a DUI Conviction Can Mean

One of the most common concerns for those facing DUI charges is how long the conviction will stay on their record. Under current Illinois laws, a DUI conviction will stay on your record for life. This means any banks, landlords, insurance companies, employers, or other parties who run a background check on you will see the conviction — and potentially hold it against you.

Having a DUI charge on your record can also impact your ability to obtain certain licenses or certifications, as well as your eligibility for employment in certain security-sensitive positions within government and government-contracted organizations. A single mistake in the form of a DUI conviction can truly stay with you forever, and that’s why a powerful legal defense is of utmost importance.

To protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of a DUI conviction is to start working with an experienced and reputable DUI defense attorney as soon as you’re arrested. A skilled attorney can help you understand the exact charges you’re facing, explore your legal options, and mount a strong defense on your behalf. Your attorney’s knowledge of Illinois DUI laws and the local court systems will be crucial for finding a better outcome at the end of this complex and emotionally draining legal process.

Key Facts About DUIs in Illinois

Some important facts to know about Illinois DUIs include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (or both) to such an extent that the person is incapable of operating that vehicle safely.
  • The penalties for a DUI conviction can vary quite a bit from case to case, depending on the particular circumstances of the offense, such as:
    • The driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC)
    • Whether it is a first-time offense or part of a repeated pattern of DUI cases
    • The existence of any aggravating factors, such as:
      • An injury or death as a result of the impaired driving
      • A minor child endangered by the impaired driving
  • Most first-time DUI offenders can expect to face a maximum of a year in jail, a fine between $500 and $2,500, and having their license revoked for a year or more.
  • Repeat offenders, those with an excessively high BAC, and persons involved in cases with aggravating factors will face higher penalties:
    • Longer jail sentences
    • Higher fines
    • Longer license suspensions
  • A DUI conviction used to remain on your driving record for a minimum of 10 years, but it now stays there for life.
  • In the most serious cases, a DUI conviction will result in a felony charge on your record.
  • There are separate driving records and criminal records in Illinois, and each will hold a record of a DUI conviction.
  • There are over 25,000 DUI arrests in Illinois annually.
  • There is a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 who are caught on the road with any amount of alcohol in their system whatsoever. This will result in a license suspension.
  • Illinois operates under an implied consent law, which essentially means you consent to a breathalyzer merely by operating a vehicle on Illinois roadways. If you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI and refuse to take one, your license can be automatically suspended.


Q: Does a DUI Come up on a Background Check in Illinois?

A: Yes, under current rules, a DUI conviction will typically stay on your record for life in Illinois and can be viewed by anyone who runs a background check on you. Note that there are separate “driving records” and “criminal records,” which will each contain a record of your DUI.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for a DUI in Illinois?

A: This depends on the level of the charge. For a typical misdemeanor DUI, the statute of limitations is 18 months. For a felony-level DUI, however, the state gets a generous three-year window in which to arrest you and officially bring their charges.

Q: What Is Aggravated DUI in Illinois 2023?

A: Aggravated DUI in Illinois is defined as driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of the two which then results in great bodily harm or permanent disability to another person, or driving intoxicated with a suspended or revoked license, or can also refer to someone charged with committing their third DUI offense. Aggravated DUIs can be prosecuted as felony offenses in Illinois, meaning the penalties will be more severe than those for a standard DUI conviction.

Q: How Do I Get a DUI Off My Record in Illinois?

A: Under 2023 laws, it is no longer possible to expunge a DUI conviction from your criminal record in Illinois. If you do not win your DUI case, the only remaining legal avenue for most people to have the charges cleared would be by seeking a pardon from the Governor of Illinois. Working with an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you navigate this process and increase your chances of success.

We Win DUI Cases

Remember, the ideal (and sometimes the only) way to keep a DUI charge off your record is to beat the conviction in the first place. Jerald Novak is the Grayslake, IL, DUI lawyer with the experience to guide you through the legal process and fight for optimal outcomes. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step toward protecting your rights, your reputation, and your freedom.

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Jerald Novak Law Firm, provides a Free initial consultation at our DUI & Criminal Defense firm. Call (847) 223-2285 to learn how our DUI & Criminal Defense attorney Jerald Novak, can help you! Call now!