Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes come with much larger consequences than others. While accidentally going through a traffic light while it's turning red is normally a pretty minor traffic mistake, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is a huge mistake with serious consequences. Whether you're facing those consequences for the first time, or the second or third, the thought of the punishment for your criminal offense can be daunting to have to face alone.
Instead of taking legal matters into your own hands, the best advice anyone can give you is to place your case in the experienced hands of a Homewood DUI lawyer. Known for our aggressive defense - proven to help in even the most serious cases, the skilled criminal defense, traffic, and DUI attorneys at Ktenas Law are here for you every step of the way.
How do I Choose the Right Defense Attorney?
The first thing you want to do is to look for criminal defense attorneys that specialize in the field your criminal charge is in. While someone might be the best weapons charges lawyer in the tri-state area, that won't help someone facing DUI charges or dealing with an arrest for drug crimes. If you have been charged with, or arrested for a DUI, you should look for attorneys that specialize in and offer legal services for alcohol-related traffic violations.
The best way to find attorneys that specialize in DUI's is to look through detailed law firm profiles and attorney profiles on the Cook County Bar Association Directory of Attorneys. There are also other directories, such as the Illinois State Bar Association Lawyer Directory.
Next, you should look over their client recommendations and reviews, either on their website or on other websites such a google reviews. These reviews can give you a good sense of whether or not the attorneys you are considering have worked cases similar to yours in the past, and whether or not their law firm looks like a good fit for you.
Other important factors to consider while considering lawyers:
Make sure they are licensed to practice in your area
Free consultations are obligation free
This attorney has enough time and attention to work on your case
This attorney is not facing disciplinary action that may cause them to be unable to continue your case.
How Much Should I Spend on a DUI Defense Attorney?
The price tag attached to your DUI varies depending on your charges, just as the payments you will make to your defense attorney. For your first DUI offense, you will be facing court fees for your DUI, as well as alcohol counseling, fees for having a BAIID installed in your car if you so choose, as well as the cost of drug testing, bail, and other various charges. The average cost of the legal process for a first-time DUI in Illinois is between $7,000 and $10,000, not including lawyer fees.
The average cost of an attorney for a basic DUI in Cook County, Illinois is around $1,500. This price can reach upwards of $25,000, for more serious and complicated cases. The more complicated your case, and the larger the consequences of your criminal charges, the more likely it is you will need the help of an experienced defense lawyer on your side.
It is important to remember that while additional payments on top of the basic cost of their DUI can be scary for prospective clients, a dedicated and experienced DUI attorney will do everything they can to have your charges and fines dropped or lowered, and fight for the lowest possible bail for you, saving you as much money as possible.
Experienced DUI attorneys are also familiar with the available programs and waivers to help save you even more money. And while your time isn't tangible, hiring an attorney is the best way to get your community service responsibility or jail time lowered.
What Kind of Information Will My Attorney Need?
Every detail you can remember about your arrest can be important.
Tell your attorney about:
The weather and time of the arrest
Names and badge numbers of the officers
Any questions the police officers ask you, or any statements made by the police officers.
Any possible witnesses
Any possible cameras near by
Dash cam footage if you own one
While the previous list is a good list of basics, you should write down everything you remember about your arrest as soon as possible. What might seem like a small detail could be the saving grace in your case. Even if you do not have legal representation yet, making this list as soon as possible is in your best interest. It is especially hard for persons arresting for driving under the influence to remember details of their arrest, as alcohol can cause memory-related issues.
Will My Case go to Trial?
During your initial consultation, an experienced defense attorney will be able to tell whether or not your case is likely to go to trial. If your case goes to trial, it is important you have an experienced trial lawyer on your side. Trials are decided by jury picking and other small details, just as much as they are decided by evidence and testimonies, and building an excellent criminal defense strategy is paramount to receiving lesser charges, or having your charges dropped entirely.
If your attorney does not have good trial skills, this might mean you will have to switch attorneys mid-case, which can cause problems within your case and is not advised, or be happy settling with whatever jail sentence you are given.
If your case is going to trial, it is absolutely paramount that you do not use a public defender, and choose a private law firm or attorney instead. While you can't beat the price of a free public defender, public defenders in Cook County deal with an average of 2000 cases a year, which is more than 3 cases a day, and it can be hard to provide excellent legal representation when overworked.
Our goal is to avoid as many harsh penalties as we can for you, make the arduous process of fighting against DUI charges as fast and pain-free as possible, and make sure that you are in a better place the day you walk out of our firm than you were in the day you walked in. With 5 star ratings and years of experience in the Cook County court system, our experience in defense is unmatched, and more than proven.
At Ktenas Law, we're not only worried about your DUI charges, but also about the difficult matters that often follow criminal charges. From child custody matters to other personal matters caused by your arrest, such as divorces, we are with you every step of the way. Our level of representation and access to legal resources makes a difference in the courtroom every single day, and we strive to turn every single potential client we speak with into a life-long client.