People in Illinois who are facing arraignments for DUI charges might wonder what to expect. An arraignment is the process in which a defendant appears before a judge and pleads guilty or not guilty.
The alleged offender may want to consult an attorney prior to the arraignment. Preparing the defense is part of getting ready for the arraignment process, and a defendant does not necessarily have to plead guilty to DUI. In fact, doing so can leave a person with a criminal record and facing potential penalties that could include fines and jail time. Therefore, it’s generally wise to discuss other options with an attorney. A person who goes to the arraignment without an attorney may be assigned one by making a request.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, an attorney might provide guidance as to how a defendant should plead. In some situations, it’s possible for an attorney to negotiate lesser penalties such as probation instead of jail time. It should not automatically be assumed that pleading guilty is the best option.
There are a number of things an attorney might look at in a drunk driving case. In some scenarios, alleged offenders have medical conditions that make them appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The attorney might also question the accuracy of the breath or blood test. If the offender’s rights were violated when they were taken into custody, this could lead to a dismissal of evidence or the entire case. Another option might be for the defendant to work out a plea deal with the prosecution.