Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Pleading guilty to an Illinois DUI without a lawyer

DUI cases can be complicated. In fact, these matters are some of the most involved and highly litigated cases in the Illinois court system. The reason for this is that a DUI cannot only result in jail time and a criminal record if a person is convicted, but can also cause a person to lose his/her driving privileges as well. As can be imagined, the loss of a driver’s license and/or a criminal conviction can have a devastating impact on a person’s home, social, and professional life. With all this at stake, anyone arrested for DUI would be well served to speak with qualified counsel as soon as possible.

But, what if a person believes that they made a mistake and just wants to get the case over with? Do they still need an attorney if they are just going to plead guilty anyways? Again, any person arrested for DUI should seek the help of an attorney if possible. Simply walking into court and pleading guilty could have consequences that the person never anticipated nor intended.

For example, pleading guilty to a DUI can result in supervision for a first offense, or it may also result in a probation or conviction. If a person receives a supervision for pleading guilty, then his/her driver’s license may be suspended just for the statutory period of time under summary suspension laws. However if that person pleads guilty and receives a conviction, then their driver’s license may be revoked. A revocation is different from a suspension in that it does not end after a specific period of time. A driver’s license revocation lasts forever, unless and until that person takes certain steps to get their license back. It is a long and complicated process as well.

The above is just one example though. Many other serious repercussions may result in a DUI case if the defendant chooses to just walk into court and plead guilty. As a matter of fact, many Judges will refuse to allow a defendant to represent himself/herself on a jailable offense without at least first speaking to a lawyer. Consulting with a qualified attorney will not only help avoid many of these pitfalls, but can also give a person their best chance to possibly defend against the charges as well. Even if a person thinks they may want to plead guilty in order to get the case over, it is always worthwhile consulting with a DUI attorney first.

Additional resources provided by the author

If you, a family member or friend has been charged with any criminal or traffic matter, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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