What Makes a Great Illinois DUI Defense Lawyer?
When recommending a DUI lawyer in Illinois, we first and foremost look for an attorney who focuses their practice on criminal and traffic defense and spends a significant amount of time at the courthouse where your case will be heard. This doesn’t guarantee a result, but we do believe your best chance of success is with someone who knows the law and also regularly appears before the judge that is in charge of your case. We also consider the following traits to be important. While everyone’s situation is different – and we take that into consideration when giving you advice – we particularly value these qualifications.
- They have at least eight years of experience (usually much more) in criminal defense, as well as specific experience handling DUI cases. You do not want to hire a real estate lawyer to defend you in criminal court. That’s not their area of expertise. Rather, you want someone who has seen situations like yours many times before and knows what to expect.
- They have a track record of success in defending DUI charges. Not only do you want someone who has handled cases like yours before but you want someone who has handled them successfully over many years.
- They know your rights and whether they have been violated. Sometimes the arresting officer makes a mistake that can result in your charges being reduced or thrown out. You want an attorney who will hear your account of what happened and read the police report and know whether that is the case. If so, the attorney should know how to approach the prosecutor in getting charges reduced or dropped.
- They aren’t lazy and if your case is defendable they will fight it rather than taking the easy way out. You don’t want someone who is going to encourage you to take a plea because it’s less work for them. You want a fighter. That’s what you’re paying for.
- They understand the range of penalties associated with DUIs and can explain which ones might apply to your situation. Your lawyer should know the law extremely well in this area and explain it to you in plain English.
- They are upfront about the possibility of success in your case, and they keep you informed of every development along the way. Your lawyer should be honest with you from the start about your chances of achieving your goals – whether that’s avoiding jail time or lower fines, etc – and keep you abreast of any developments in your case. You are the customer and this is your life and you should never be left in the dark.
- They respect you and consider your best interests in every decision they make regarding your case. Your lawyer should represent you well and have your best interests at the forefront of every decision during the course of your case. If a plea bargain is offered, they should help you make an educated decision, explaining the pros and cons and recommending a course of action that best aligns with your goals.
- They make client communication a priority, promptly returning all phone calls and e-mails. Your lawyer may be very busy but each and every client deserves common courtesy, including having phone calls returned and e-mails answered. Even if a paralegal or secretary occasionally responds to you regarding organizational issues, that’s ok as long as your lawyer gets back to you with answers to your legal questions and status updates on a timely basis.
- They quote you a fee up front, stick to that fee and fight for you no matter how long it takes. Your lawyer should be honest about the fee and stick to it. Be sure to have the final fee arrangement in writing. And, if your case takes a long time to resolve, your lawyer should never abandon your case but rather fight for you until the end.
These are just some of the characteristics we look for in the Illinois DUI lawyers we recommend. If you need help finding a DUI attorney in Illinois, please contact us. We recommend lawyers across the state, in every county. You phone calls and e-mails are free and confidential.