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Arrested for DUI: What Happens Next?

Posted on in DUI Defense

IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need to act quickly to mitigate the potential consequences, which can include losing your driver’s license, paying a fine of up to $2,500, and more.

But before a judge can hand down a sentence, the state must prove that you are guilty of the crime. Even if you failed a breathalyzer or drug test, a conviction is not 100% guaranteed. With the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer and a comprehensive investigation of your case, it may be possible to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.

The better you understand the legal process, the better equipped you will be to work with your attorney to develop the best possible defense. Toward that end, here is a brief overview of the process.

1. Arraignment - The First Court Hearing

The police should have given you several documents before you were released from custody. The date and courthouse location of your first court hearing, known as the arraignment, will be shown on two of those documents: the traffic ticket and the bond slip.

According to the rules of the DuPage County Court (the 18th Judicial Circuit Court), your arraignment should occur 26 to 42 days after your arrest. The date is set based on the arresting officer’s scheduled court days; most officers have all of their court cases scheduled for the same day or two each month.

You will want to have an attorney at your side for this hearing. This is the time when you plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the judge will move right to the sentencing step.

If you filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license, the court hearing on that will occur around this time as well.

2. Pre-Trial Conference

This is a meeting between your attorney and the prosecutor (the State’s Attorney). By the time this conference happens, your attorney will have reviewed all of the police evidence and conducted his own investigation, looking for procedural errors or violations of your constitutional rights. At the pre-trial conference, your lawyer will negotiate for a dismissal of the case, a reduction of the charges against you, or the best possible plea bargain. If a plea bargain is arranged, your next court appearance will be for sentencing. But if negotiations fail to produce an acceptable result, you can go to trial.

3. Jury Trial

A jury trial for DUI proceeds much the same way as any trials you have seen in movies or TV shows. The jury is chosen, both sides make opening statements, witnesses are questioned, and closing arguments are made.

4. Sentencing

If you agreed to a plea bargain or were convicted in a trial, the next step is sentencing. The judge will announce your sentence, which may include a fine, community service hours, alcohol education or treatment, revocation of your driver’s license, and even jail time in a more serious case.

An Experienced DuPage County DUI Defense Attorney Can Help

If you have been charged with DUI in DuPage County, consult an experienced Oak Brook DUI defense lawyer without delay. At McMahon Law Offices, our attorneys understand how the local prosecutors and judges tend to view DUI cases, so they know how to build a strong case in your defense. Contact us at 630-953-4400 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.dupageco.org/Courts/LocalCourtRules/2690/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

DuPage County Bar Association Top 100 Illinois State Bar Association AVVO Rating Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association AVVO Reviews
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