Factors to Consider When Hiring a Chicago DUI Attorney
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Chicago. A drunk driver faces possible license suspension or revocation, jail time and fines up to $25,000.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need a Chicago DUI attorney on your side. For some time to come, your attorney will play an important role in your life. You need to choose a Chicago DWI attorney who can represent you well and provide a strong criminal defense. This article discusses what to look for in a Chicago DUI attorney.
Hiring a Chicago DUI Attorney
Though you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible, it’s good to invest some time in finding the right attorney for you. The first step in your defense is to find an attorney or attorneys to interview.
Ask your friends and family to recommend an attorney or use Attorneys.com. Attorneys.com can quickly and confidentially find a Chicago DWI attorney in your area, from Rogers Park to South Deering.
You’ll have an initial consultation, or meeting, with each attorney. During the consultation, you can ask questions and find out more about the attorney. Ask about the attorney’s:
- Legal background and practice
- Experience with Chicago drunk driver defense
- Knowledge of the courts and court staff
- DUI defense strategy
- Fees, costs and expenses
What to Consider when Hiring a Chicago DWI attorney
You want an attorney with a strong background in defending DUI cases. Your attorney should be able to clearly explain your case, legal options and strategy. Other factors point to an attorney with experience, like:
- A practice devoted mostly or entirely to criminal defense
- Familiarity with the judges, prosecutors and staff of the court
- Membership in the Illinois and Chicago bar associations, as well as in the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Attorneys have different ways of charging for their services. Most Chicago DWI attorneys bill by the hour. You may find an attorney who charges a flat rate, or single fee, for Chicago drunk driver defense, but it is much less common.
Rates and pricing can differ substantially between attorneys. Ask yourself if the fee structure seems fair and if you can afford it. Find out whether you need to pay a retainer and get an estimate of the total fees, including costs and expenses.
An attorney’s defense approach is also critical. Get an explanation of the legal strategy that will be used in your case. Make sure you understand the possible outcomes, both good and bad. When you understand the attorney’s approach, ask yourself if it seems reasonable, and if you agree with it.
Personality, style and comfort level
You need to feel comfortable with your attorney and have confidence in his representation. Not all lawyers are right for everyone, so consider how comfortable you are with each attorney. Is the attorney patient? Does he take the time to explain the issues clearly? Does he listen to you? Do you trust his judgment?
Deciding Which Chicago DUI Attorney to Hire
Whether you’ve talked to one or many attorneys, you will soon need to make a choice. After all your meetings, review the pros and cons of each attorney. Does one stand out as a good choice?
If so, perhaps you have found the right attorney. If you can’t decide, follow up with each attorney you’re considering. Ask them additional questions or get past client references. The opinion of a previous client can be very helpful.
When you feel fully informed, pick the attorney who is the best match and begin your defense.