DUI at the Skokie Courthouse: A Practical Guide
Any Illinois DUI arrest is an upsetting event. Most people arrested for DUI have never had any significant contact with the court system, as experienced DUI lawyers might, and certainly never contemplated facing serious criminal penalties. Even the most basic misdemeanor DUI is a serious class A misdemeanor under Illinois law. Possible penalties include jail, loss of driving privileges and more. While we've provided information about the law elsewhere, one thing missing is the practical aspect of what to expect from the process. With that in mind, this is our Practical Court Guide series, and in this segment, we'll discuss what you need to know about defending your DUI at the Second Municipal District Courthouse.
Some practical information about the courthouse itself can be viewed by visiting our information page about the Skokie courthouse itself.
Do I have to be in Court?
In general, everyone charged with a misdemeanor or felony Illinois DUI in Cook County must appear on each and every court date unless the Judge specifically excuses your appearance. Failure to appear may result in the issuance of an arrest warrant, and in the case of a DUI, might create serious problems resulting in the revocation of your driving privileges.
Where do I go in the Skokie Courthouse?
Your bond requires you to be in your assigned courtroom at the start of the court call. In Cook County courts, the time printed on your bond slip (or tickets if you can't find your bond slip) is the time set for the court call to start. It's not the time that your particular case will be called. Plan for 15 minutes to get through security, then make sure you understand even a brief court appearance could take an hour, depending on the size of the court call that day. We usually try to meet our clients outside the courtroom before the call starts, but instruct our clients that if their case is called before we arrive, to let the Judge know, in a respectful manner, that they are represented and their attorney is on the way.
How often will I have to go to the Skokie Court for my DUI?
Because DUI in Illinois involves a mix of criminal law, traffic law, and even civil litigation, and because the potential consequences are so far reaching, you should not expect your DUI to be over in one court appearance. Even the most simple and clear misdemeanor DUI case in Skokie will take at least two to three court appearances over as many months, and some can require significantly longer. In most cases, you won't be appearing more than once a month.
Where do I get a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation at the Skokie Court?
At some point, your lawyer may advise you to obtain a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation. In most cases, an evaluation of this type is necessary before resolving a DUI charge. Before your Drug and Alcohol Evaluation, your lawyer should help you prepare, and explain what to expect - this is not merely a drug test. Cook county requires that all Drug and Alcohol Evaluations be conducted by Central States Institute (CSI) operated by Catholic Charities. The Skokie location is inside the courthouse, on the second floor, across from the law library. The central phone number for scheduling of an evaluation is (312) 948-6001
Have other practical questions about going to Court? Send us an email at [email protected], and we'll try to answer and update this guide. If you need help with your DUI at the Skokie courthouse, contact us now.