The DUI Process in Illinois
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Need a lawyer for DUI defense in Chicago? Being arrested for a crime is
a frightening and stressful experience. At the Law Offices of Mitch Furman,
I believe that the more information you have, the better your chances will be.
Below is a summary of the legal proceedings following a driving under the
Overview of the DUI Process
1. BAC or Field Sobriety Tests: Anyone who is suspected of
driving under the influence will be asked to perform a
field sobriety test and/or to measure his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by submitting a
breath or blood test. Refusals will result in a DUI charge and a one year automatic license
2. Arrest: A law enforcement officer can arrest someone for drunk driving even if
he or she passes the field sobriety test or the Breathalyzer test. When
you are arrested, there are very particular procedures that must be followed.
Violations of these procedures could infringe on your rights and result
in a case dismissal.
3. Booking: Arrested individuals are generally booked in the county jail. You will
need to give information such as your name and address, but you should
otherwise avoid discussing your case with the police. It is always best
to remain silent and only ask for an attorney. The police will also take
your photo and fingerprint, search your belongings, and confiscate anything
that is contraband. You will stay in a cell until you have made bail.
4. Making Bail: Bail is set by a judge and is in proportion to the crime of which you are
accused. A first time DUI bail is often around $500-$2,000, but it may
be significantly more if there was an accident or any other
aggravating factors. If you cannot afford bail, you can pay a bail bondsman 10% of
the bail amount in order to be released.
5. Administrative Hearing: The
Summary Suspension Hearing is often crucially overlooked, but it allows you the opportunity to fight
the mandatory license suspension and also to hear the evidence against
you. It is especially helpful in the preparation of your defense.
6. Arraignment: Your first court appearance is when you will hear the charges levied against
you, enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You can also use
this as an opportunity to ask for your bail to be lowered.
7. Preliminary Hearing: This hearing is very similar to a trial, except there is no jury. The judge
will review the evidence and determine whether it is sufficient to prove
guilt. Your attorney will also ask to have unlawfully obtained evidence
suppressed or inaccurate evidence thrown out.
8. Pre-Trial Motions: This is another opportunity to limit the evidence against you by having
it declared inadmissible. Witness statements and reliability may also
9. Trial: You will only have to go to trial if your case is not able to be dismissed,
if you plead not guilty, and if a
plea bargain was not in your best interests. During the trial, evidence will be submitted,
examined, and cross-examined by both the prosecution and the defense.
Your lawyer will present a strong
defense for your case. The jury will reach a decision as to whether or not you
are guilty of driving under the influence.
10. Sentencing: If you plead guilty, no contest, or are found guilty, then the judge will
penalties for your case. A sentence may be fines, alcohol education classes, probation,
rehabilitative treatment, drug testing, and even jail.
Searching for an attorney for a DUI in Chicago?
Contact my firm today for competent legal guidance throughout the DUI process.