When you’re convicted of driving under the influence in a Cook County court, the after-effects can be very traumatic. You could lose your driver’s license, pay massive fines and face social consequences. You could even end up spending time behind bars.

While it sounds dramatic, the outcome of your case can depend on the type of legal representation you choose–and how quickly you get a lawyer on your team.

What to Do When You’re Arrested for DUI in Chicago

Generally police will take you straight to jail when you’re arrested for DUI. You’ll be booked and put into a cell, and from there, you will likely be given the opportunity to get in touch with an attorney.

Take the first chance you get.

You don’t want to wait for a public defender. While the court will appoint a public defender for you, which seems like the easy choice, you need to know that public defenders are often very overworked. They’re burdened with dozens of cases ranging from murder charges to petty theft, and they will probably not have time to meet with you until just before you see the judge.

That’s why it is so important to find a Chicago DUI attorney who can be there to help protect your rights immediately. Your lawyer will explain your charges before you’re even arraigned, and he will give you case-specific advice so that you can enter the right plea for your situation.

Remember, you don’t have to talk to the police when they ask you questions. You have the right to remain silent, so exercise it! Let your lawyer do the talking for you (or make sure that he advises you before you talk).

These things can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case, and dealing with DUI charges on your own puts you at a significant disadvantage. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

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