Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or above is considered Driving Under the Influence in Illinois. Officially, a DUI means driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs. Being arrested for a DUI means you are too impaired to drive a car safely.
If you are caught driving under the influence in the Wheaton area, you will need a reputable attorney to help. Finding a good license suspension attorney for your DUI requires a lot of research, and what better way to know more about your new attorney than to ask them questions.
Below are six important questions you should ask your DUI attorney before hiring them.
What is Your Level of Experience with DUI Cases?
To get a fair trial, you should hire an attorney with ample experience protecting and defending other people charged with driving under the influence. You will need an attorney who knows how to defend a case like yours as they will be familiar with DUI laws in Illinois and the justice system.
Ask your potential DUI attorney about the number of DUI cases they have handled in the past and the number of years they have practiced in the Wheaton area. Remember to ask about the specific number of cases they have handled
Most big law firms exaggerate their numbers to show potential clients they are experienced. However, you want to hire an experienced attorney, not their law firm. Ask your attorney if they have also worked as a prosecutor.
Having experience of both sides will be very helpful when trying your case. This means they have insight into how the court system works and how the prosecutor tries cases such as yours. The lawyer might negotiate a settlement for you and get you charged with a lesser crime.
Who Will Handle My Case?
When dealing with larger law firms, you will notice that they have volumes of cases. Unfortunately, this only means that they have many employed attorneys, associates, and paralegals to work on cases that other attorneys don’t want. It’s easy for your case to be passed over to an associate or a paralegal.
When meeting with an attorney, ask them whether they plan to pass over your case to another employee of their firm. This could mean that you don’t get the personal care and attention you would otherwise get if you dealt with the attorney you met in the first place.
The bigger the law firm, the less personalized attention you will get in most cases. Hence, it’s advisable to deal with a smaller law firm instead. However, it all comes down to personal preference.
Do You Have a Reputable Network of Experts?
If you have been arrested for a DUI before, you know that DUI cases involve many details that could help you prove your case. If the field sobriety test wasn’t administered properly or the traffic stop and chain of custody were not handled according to the law, your lawyer could get the case thrown out based on technicalities.
The best DUI attorney will have a network of experts standing by, ready to help find the loopholes and technicalities that could get you off the hook. These specialists include crime scene specialists, private investigators, former law enforcement officers, and video analysts all within the Wheaton area. Remember to ask your attorney about their team of experts and whether you need them for your case.
What Are the Potential Outcomes of My Case?
This is one of the most essential questions to ask your attorney. Knowing the potential outcomes of your case will help you prepare for what may come. This is the time to hope for the best while still preparing for the worst.
If this is your first time getting arrested for a DUI, the penalty might not be substantial. However, the punishment is even harsher for repeat offenders. In Illinois, the penalty for DUI can include jail time, fines, joining an educational program, ignition interlock devices, license suspension and revocation.
Keep in mind that the court may see fit to combine two penalties for one offense. The penalty may even be worse if you caused an accident and there were injuries or fatalities as a result. Ensure you hire an attorney who explains all the possible outcomes of your case to help you adequately prepare.
Do You Have Experience in the Wheaton Area?
In DUI cases, hiring an attorney with ample local experience will work in your favor. Different states have varying DUI laws. Furthermore, while Illinois has the same DUI laws statewide, there are varying nuances depending on the jurisdiction.
Hiring a local lawyer in Wheaton to handle your case is the best way to ensure you get the outcome you’d like. That’s because they know how the prosecutors and judges approach DUI cases similar to yours. They may even have a rapport with these people, which can work to your advantage.
Different counties also have programs to help DUI offenders and victims. Your lawyer should check whether your county has any special programs that you could partake in to reduce the harshness of your punishment.
How Much Do You Charge?
The last thing you want is to run into financial surprises with your DUI attorney. The total amount you pay will depend on how complicated the case is. If you accept a plea bargain, you may not pay as much as you would if your case went to trial.
That’s because a case requires too much preparation and a lot of time in court. A highly-experienced attorney should clearly explain how their fees work even with so many potential variables. Most attorneys often have two varying payment options: hourly rate and flat fee.
If you’re charged a flat rate, the attorney will set a specific amount depending on your case. While it may not sound like a good deal at first, it will save you a lot of money.
Hire a DUI Attorney in the Wheaton Area Today
Knowing the right questions to ask a potential DUI attorney will help you pick the right representation for your case. Asking the above questions will help you evaluate your DUI lawyer and their qualifications, giving you more information about what to expect from this case.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in the Wheaton area, contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. Our highly-experienced attorneys will start preparing your defenses today.