The DUI process consists of several distinct steps. After you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you may be arrested and taken to jail asked to submit to a chemical test. If you fail the test, you will be charged with DUI and you may have to spend time in jail until someone bails you out. But it doesn’t stop there. Once you’re out on bail, you will need to come go to court for a DUI arraignment. This initial court hearing can be an intimidating experience for those who have never committed a crime or set foot in a courtroom.
The arraignment quite confusing if you’re not well versed in legalese and court procedures. The good news is that arraignments are usually scheduled quickly so you can avoid the stress involved with waiting.
A skilled Chicago DUI lawyer can set your case on the path to a positive resolution early in the process. If you want to know more, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What to Expect at Your DUI Arraignment
The arraignment will be your first appearance in the court for DUI case. You will likely have to appear in court several more times unless you plead guilty or the judge dismisses your case because of your lawyer’s prompt and effective advocacy.
At the arraignment, the prosecutor will present all the evidence against you. This discovery packet may include chemical and field sobriety test results, police reports, your criminal history, and your driving record. The judge will state the charges against you and ask whether or not you have an attorney. If you don’t yet have an attorney, the court may provide you with one, since you have a constitutional right to legal counsel The judge will also ask you how you intend to plead – no contest, guilty, or not guilty.
Prosecutors typically have many cases to deal with in the courts. This means that if possible, they will try to end your DUI case without going to trial. It’s not in their best interest to let them drag on and on, since they have more serious criminal cases to attend to. This means that they will usually make an offer to try to resolve the case to avoid future court appearances.
Never accept a plea offer before consulting with an experienced attorney familiar with the facts of your case. It may or may not be a good idea to accept the offer depending on your circumstances. A Chicago DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate a better plea agreement for you.
Should I Use a Court-Appointed Lawyer?
If you cannot afford to hire your own lawyer, the court will give you one. The assistance of an attorney in a criminal case is a constitutional right enshrined within the Sixth Amendment, so be sure to take advantage of it.
Having a court-appointed attorney is better than nothing. But if you can afford a dedicated Chicago DUI lawyer, you should retain one. Public defenders are very busy. They have large caseloads and cannot spend a large amount of time on each case. Therefore, these attorneys tend to favor plea agreements so they can avoid time-consuming trials. They may not notice small yet important details in your case, such as a mislabeled blood sample that could get your case dismissed or penalties reduced.
How Can O’Meara Law Help?
The DUI arraignment process is scary for most people, especially since it’s usually their first time in a courtroom. Your Chicago DUI lawyer can ease the anxiety of going to court by explaining the process to you. More importantly, your lawyer will take important steps to protect your rights and to put you in a good position to win your case, or at least to avoid the harshest consequences of a conviction.
To learn more about how we can help you, call O’Meara Law now at 312-909-0706 for a free consultation.