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What Does a DUI Lawyer Do?

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

While most people think DUI court is pretty straightforward, anything that comes with the risk of jail times or hefty fines is anything but straightforward. Putting your freedom, your ability to drive, and your bank account at risk isn't a decision many people take lightly, which is why people often hire attorneys to represent them during DUI cases. Defendants that haven't been involved in the court system before might not understand why they should hire an attorney to represent them, or what it is exactly an attorney can do for a defendant to help them. 

If you've been arrested for or charged with a DUI in Chicago, Dohman Law Group is here to help. Our attorneys have experience both in and out of traffic court that can change the course of your case, and we treat every case like it's a career-maker. Drunk driving charges are taken very seriously in Illinois, and putting your case in the hands of a skilled attorney is the best way to be awarded a lesser charge and a clean criminal record. 

Should I Use a Public Defender for a DUI?

If you're facing jail time or extreme fines, you should never hire a public defender. If you have a basic case, are facing some community service, a 6-month driving ban, and minimum fines, then a public defender is fine. Public defenders aren't bad attorneys, in fact, they are attorneys who chose careers helping people rather than making a decent living for themselves. However, public defenders are overworked and underpaid, and if your case is complex it will most likely fall between the cracks of the rest of their caseload. 

If your case falls between the cracks and you feel as though your public defender is too busy to properly represent you, you can file a motion with the judge for inadequate defense based on your public defender's inability to represent you properly. However, it is entirely up to the judge's opinion on whether or not your legal representation has been inadequate, and this motion can be denied. 

Private attorneys, however, only accept new clients when they have time for them. So if you hire a private attorney, then you know that they have the time to take on your case and win it for you. If you are only facing the lowest of charges, however, asking for a public defender and entering a guilty plea is the quickest and easiest way to finish your time in court and move on to your sentencing. 

Related Content: Do You Lose Your License Immediately After a DUI?

Evidence Used to Defend a DUI Charge

There are dozens of laws surrounding how police officers should behave and what should go on during any traffic stop or DUI inquiry. Since the judge, and your attorney, weren't present at your arrest, the only way for them to know what happened during your traffic stop and subsequent arrest is what you can tell them. 

This is why as soon as the officers pull you over, it's time to be quiet and observe. Make sure you get the officer's names and badge numbers, remember everything you can about the events of your traffic stop and arrest including location, possible witnesses, or local security cameras. Even weather conditions can be helpful when it comes to building your defense. 

an image of the statue of justice

The more evidence and information you can give to your attorney, the better defense they can build, which means a better chance at having your charges dropped or reduced. Without an experienced DUI attorney on your side, you risk placing your future at the mercy of the judge and court. 

How Does Hiring an Attorney Help Me?

Anytime you use legal representation instead of acting as a self-represented defendant you not only save yourself the stress of trying to handle your case yourself, but you also normally exclude yourself from alternate sentencing. With an experienced attorney on your side, you have someone who can communicate with the prosecutors to have expensive fines lowered, or argue for a fair plea bargain. Without an attorney on your side, it's not likely you will be offered any plea deals at all. 

A law firm can also help you through the process of regaining your driving privileges faster than you might have to wait on your own, and offer legal advice to help you impress the judge during your case. Driving under the influence of alcohol is normally punished extremely harshly, and you can be facing jail time on top of your license suspension. Attorneys can help get that sentencing lowered to community service based on evidence such as low blood alcohol content

How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost?

There are many legal options when it comes to the cost of hiring a DUI attorney. No matter what, the more complex your case the more expensive it will be. If you are facing serious criminal charges, such as reckless driving, on top of your DUI charge, your attorney fees will be higher than if you are facing first-time DUI charges alone. 

Regardless, the average DUI costs an average of $700 for a first offense, $4500 for a second offense, and upwards of $6000 for a third offense. Many people don't have thousands of dollars to throw away, and hiring an attorney can help guarantee that you're paying the least amount possible in court and filing fees and fines. 

Related Content: The Real Cost of a DUI

Are There Other Options?

If you don't wish to hire an attorney or request a public defender, your only option is self-representation. Unless you have legal experience or work in it the law field yourself, representing yourself will most likely end up with you facing the maximum charges. Even experienced attorneys hire other attorneys to represent themselves whenever they have to appear in court as a defendant. 

It is also much harder to apply for and be approved for an ignition interlock device that allows you to drive before your suspension is up without an attorney on your side. There are fees and deadlines and proof that must all be met in order for you to qualify for a BAIID, and with an attorney on your side, you can make sure you meet all the qualifications and will be approved before you waste your money. 

Review Your DUI Charge With Our Lawyers Today

If you've been charged with a DUI in Illinois, there is no time to waste. The sooner you contact and hire a DUI attorney in Rolling Meadows to represent you, the longer your attorney will have to build an adequate defense for your case and the better chances you have of getting to move on with your life sooner, rather than later. 

Call Dohman Law Group today to set up a free initial consultation, and let's work together to get you back on the road and behind the wheel. 

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