Do I Need an Attorney for DUI Arraignment

Generally speaking an attorney must be present for a person to be arraigned on criminal charges. At the arraignment the judge will generally advise a person charged with a DUI that they have the right to an attorney and that one can be appointed by the court if they are indigent.  Further, it is at the arraignment that you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  Because a DUI is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $2,500 fine, you should have an attorney present representing your interests.  In some instances a person charged with a DUI may attempt to represent themselves, but you do so at your own peril.  If you do not know the law or the effect that certain outcomes may have on your driver’s license or criminal record you may be doing yourself a disservice by not retaining an experienced attorney.  See 625 ILCS 5/11-501, 725 ILCS 5/102-4 and 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55.

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