Navigating the DUI Process in Chicago
Get Counsel From A Chicago DUI Attorney
Need a lawyer for DUI defense in Chicago or another part of Illinois? 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 influence arrest.
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 suspension.
- 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 be challenged.
- 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 determine appropriate 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.