If you get arrested for a DUI, your life is pretty much on the line as you can go to jail, lose your license and/or have a huge fine. This can have a whack-a-mole effect as it can lead to loss of your job, marriage or other things that are important to you.
So to say the least, getting a good attorney to defend you is really important. It should be a lawyer who does a lot of work in the court where the case is being heard (e.g. don’t hire a Joliet lawyer for a Rolling Meadows DUI case). It should be a lawyer who is experienced with a real track record of success. The attorney needs to communicate with you and fight for you.
But what does a top DUI lawyer in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois cost?
The answer is that a lawyer can charge whatever they want and in some unethical cases, they’ll charge as much as they think that they can get from you.
As a consumer, know that just because someone is more expensive doesn’t mean that they are worth it. Some lawyers (including many who we recommend) have developed a reputation as someone “you have to work with” so their clients will often pay whatever it takes to get them.
These are usually good attorneys, but there are plenty of them and others who won’t rip you off. In one horror story that I heard recently, a Chicago DUI attorney charged a client $18,000.00 to handle the case and told the client that he wouldn’t do anything other than have the case continued until he was paid in full.
What that tells you is that he cares only about his bottom line and not about the best interests of the client. It’s possible he could have resolved the case in one or two court dates, but didn’t do that so he could make more money. That is ridiculous.
So how much is reasonable? You should beware lawyers that are too cheap (anything under $1,500 in my opinion). There is a lot of work that is involved to succeed in most cases and I don’t believe that you can find a good lawyer willing to handle a case for less than that amount.
I think you’ll find that $2,500.00 is around average for a first time offender in the Chicago area. Even if you have a felony DUI I wouldn’t recommend paying more than $7,500.00 unless your case is unique.
Big picture, I strongly suggest that you talk to a couple of firms to make sure you are comfortable with their experience and strategy. It’s not much different than shopping for a TV or anything else. If a lawyer is much cheaper than everyone else it’s a warning sign. And if they are way more expensive it’s a warning sign too.
If you would like our help in finding the best Illinois DUI lawyer for you, call us at (312) 346-5320 to speak with one of our lawyers. It’s always free and confidential.