Which Illinois Criminal Attorney Should I Hire?
Hiring the right attorney is always important, especially important when hiring an Illinois criminal defense attorney. After all, if you are charged with a crime, your freedom may be on the line. Even if you aren't facing jail time, the right attorney can be the difference between a permanent record and no record at all. If you're looking for the right attorney for you or a family member or friend, we can help.
The main qualities we look for in a criminal defense attorney are experience, success and location. You want an attorney with significant experience in criminal defense, a history of success in those cases, and someone with local knowledge and a local reputation.
By "experience" we mean an attorney who handles criminal defense cases day in and day out, and someone who has done so for many years. Often, we'll look even deeper into an attorney's experience and recommend someone who handles your specific type of case. For example, if you've been charged with a DUI, we would recommend an attorney who handles DUIs all the time. If it's a criminal sexual abuse charge we would never suggest a lawyer that hasn't proven that they know how to handle similar cases. This level of experience is important for analyzing your case and advising you on things such as the best approach to take, any possible defenses and whether you should consider negotiating with the prosecutor to lessen the charges or minimize fines. You don't want to have a lawyer's first time handling a specific crime be when they are representing you.
History of Success
We also believe you should hire an attorney who has a history of success. In our opinion, past success often indicates future success. We know which attorneys in Illinois have had success and which ones are known for fighting for their clients. In criminal defense, some attorneys simply charge a fee to help you plead guilty. These are usually the lawyers that charge a fee that seems too good to be true. We will steer you away from these attorneys and toward those who will work hard to protect your rights whether you're facing a speeding ticket or a felony. Often, a good attorney is able to find an error in a case and get the charges dismissed or work out a favorable deal. There are no "won-loss" records because that is impossible to measure. But when clients call us and tell us how well the attorney we recommended did for them it becomes easy to measure success. You would be shocked at home many Illinois criminal lawyers - not the ones that we recommend - do nothing for their clients and act as if getting probation and a guilty finding or a short stay in prison is a big win.
Local Knowledge and Reputation
The benefit of a local attorney is inside knowledge about the judges and prosecutors. And not just knowing who they are, but knowing how they make decisions. If your defense attorney spends a lot of time in the courtroom where your case is being heard, it should give you an advantage. We recommend attorneys who are regulars in these courtrooms. They don't have to be based out of the town where the case is being heard, just regularly go there. This also means that the judges and prosecutors know them. Having the respect of the judge is always a good thing. And prosecutors may be more willing to negotiate with an attorney who is known for fighting for their clients and taking cases to trial when necessary. Unless the facts of your case are unique you are usually best served by lawyers that are local (and also possess the other qualities we suggest).
We only recommend attorneys who we believe have all these qualities. But that's not all. We also consider their customer service. You deserve an attorney who returns your phone calls, keeps you informed about your case and consults you on major decisions affecting your case.
If you're looking for the right criminal defense attorney in Illinois, we can help. Contact us anytime for a free and confidential consultation. Every recommendation that we make is based on the facts of your case. We don't promise you win, but do guarantee that we'll suggest a lawyer who we would hire if we were facing the same charges as you.