How to Hire a Chicago DUI Lawyer
Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a Chicago DUI, you need to hire a lawyer whether you plead innocent or guilty.
The penalties if convicted of a DUI in Chicago are harsh. A drunk-driving conviction will get your driver’s license revoked. You could be fined, put on probation, forced to go through counseling or required to perform community service. You could also lose your car and go to prison. The punishment is more severe if serious injuries or death occurs.
A Chicago DUI defense attorney who knows Illinois DUI laws could help minimize the penalties associated with a DUI violation. A DUI lawyer will know the Chicago court system and can devise a first-rate legal strategy for your case. Most important, they will help ease your anxieties during this time. The following article will help you find and hire a Chicago DUI lawyer.
Finding Chicago DUI Attorneys
Fortunately, finding DUI attorneys in the Chicago area is relatively easy. Deciding on which attorney to hire takes a little more legwork.
Some of the best legal resources are found by word of mouth. Friends or family may be able to recommend a Chicago DUI attorney. Personal recommendations are always valuable since you can obtain great feedback about the lawyer and his work style. Sources outside of a particular law firm provide valuable insight into how well a lawyer works with clients.
The internet is another great resource for finding a DUI attorney in Chicago. Whether you live in Schaumburg, Glenview, Oak Lawn or elsewhere in the Chicago area, Attorneys.com can also help you find DUI lawyers in your area. You can fill out a basic questionnaire online or call 1-877-913-7222 to get started. After answering some basic questions, we'll provide the name and contact information of at least one Chicago DUI attorney. You can personally contact the lawyer, or the lawyer will contact you within two business days.
Meeting with a Chicago DUI Lawyer
Once you’ve found the name of at least one Chicago DUI attorney, schedule an initial consultation. Most initial consultations are free, but it’s always safer to ask if they charge a fee for this service when making an appointment.
The initial consultation is the most critical step when choosing the right DUI lawyer. At this meeting, you can get to know the lawyer, and the lawyer can learn more about you and your legal case. It's your opportunity to decide whether to hire the lawyer to handle your Chicago drunk driving case.
Spend some time preparing to meet each attorney. Bring the arrest report, court documents, names and contact information of witnesses to your arrest and any other relevant information. The more information a lawyer has, the more information he can provide you during the meeting.
Ask the lawyer questions about your case and their experience. Key questions to ask a lawyer about DUI cases include:
- How many DUI court cases have you tried?
- Will you be my primary attorney, or will other attorneys in your firm be handling my case?
- How will you keep me informed about my case’s status?
- How often can I expect to hear from you?
- What are my chances of winning a trial on drunk driving charges?
- What type of penalties will I receive if I am convicted?
- What are my chances of getting the DUI charge dropped?
- Will I receive copies of all motions filed in court?
In addition, ask about the costs associated with your case. These include the following:
- What types of court-related costs will I have to pay?
- How much do you charge for your services?
- Do you charge on an hourly basis or do you use a flat fee?
Finally, ask for references. References could be a deciding factor if your meetings with lawyers don’t leave you with a clear impression of whom to hire.
Make sure to take notes during the meeting. In addition, write down your impression of the lawyer after the meeting while the visit is still fresh in your mind. Think about the following:
- Did the lawyer listen well?
- Did the attorney understand your problem?
- Could the lawyer explain DUI laws as they apply in Chicago?
- Did he speak about the law in a way that’s easy to understand?
- Do you think the lawyer will work on the case cost-effectively?
- Did the lawyer had a good grasp on your case?
- Did he sufficiently answer all of your questions?
After you’ve met with at least one attorney, sit back and review each lawyer’s qualifications. If you’re still struggling to pick a particular attorney, call the references provided. Speak to former clients and ask them about their working relationship with the lawyer. Were they completely satisfied with their experience? What were the pros and cons of working with this particular lawyer? Would they work with him again?
Remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions before hiring a Chicago DUI attorney. You will be much more satisfied and comfortable with your choice in the long-run if you do.