A 37-year-old Carlyle woman is facing felony DUI charges after she struck a motorcyclist in rural Madison County and then left the scene of the accident. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the woman had a clean driving record despite a previous DUI charge in 2012. Family members report that the motorcyclist, a 31-year old man from Pocahontas, suffered serious injuries in the crash and was hospitalized and in a coma.

The accident occurred late in the evening on Aug. 16 near Highlands. According to reports, the woman struck the motorcyclist as he sat on his bike parked on the road. She left the accident scene in her Jeep Cherokee but was later located using a license plate that was knocked off the vehicle in the crash. The driver was detained on felony drunk driving charges and was released on a $70,000 bond.

These charges are not the first DUI ones for the Carlyle woman. Court records reveal that she was charged with DUI in 2012, but upon completion of the terms of the court supervision she was given in that case, no conviction was placed on her record. Some of the terms of the court supervision included paying a $1,000 fine, having no criminal violations or traffic charges for a period of a year, and completing 100 hours of community service.

Charges of driving under the influence and causing an accident involving serious personal injury can result in severe penalties upon conviction. A conviction can also be life-changing, given that its presence in court records can limit future educational and career opportunities. The negative effects of a conviction may make it advisable for a person who is facing these types of charges to have the assistance of an attorney in establishing a strategy to combat them.