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Hidden costs of an Illinois DUI conviction

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s DUI Fact Book, the typical cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois is about $15,000.00. Some of the costs are apparent, while others become evident only when your Illinois driver’s license is lost due to a DUI.

Starting at the point of your DUI arrest, you will be taken to the police station. Your car will be left on the roadside, waiting to be towed. You will be responsible for towing and storage expenses.

After the police have processed you after the arrest, you will be required to post a bond before being released. The bond will be no less than $100 and as much as $300. In addition, the court will assess a non-refundable processing fee.

Upon your release from jail, you will want to retain the services of a DUI lawyer. Most will, before agreeing to represent you, require a retainer fee (down payment). Additional fees may be due as your case progresses.

It is important that you discuss all fee matters with your DUI lawyer. You may think that all lawyers are the same and the least expensive lawyer is your best choice. However, instead of an inexpensive lawyer, you may end up with a cheap one (You get what you pay for).

On the other hand, the most expensive lawyer is not necessarily the best one! You should look at things such as the lawyer’s experience, reputation, client feedback and what other lawyers think about your potential lawyer. A handy reference source for lawyer ratings is AVVO.com , where the highest possible rating is 10.0. AVVO ratings are based upon feedback from past clients and from other lawyers who are familiar with the work of the lawyer being rated.


Another good source for choosing a lawyer is his web page. A lawyer with satisfied clients will post client testimonials on his web page.

While unknown to many non-attorneys, every lawyer is familiar with Martindale Hubbell’s lawyer rating system. This nationwide lawyer rating system, which is the oldest in existence, is exclusively based upon the opinions of other lawyers and judges. Virtually any lawyer who has been practicing law for any amount of time receives a “BV” rating. Very few lawyers rate “AV”, the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating.

In addition to legal fees, a DUI arrest conviction will result in fines of up to $2,500, an alcohol evaluation, alcohol education classes and alcohol treatment. A first offender who wishes to drive during a suspension must pay MDDP fees.

Upon being convicted, you must have a driver’s license reinstatement hearing, ($50.00 hearing fee, BAIID fees and legal expenses). Finally, before you are actually reinstated, you must pay the Illinois Secretary of State a $500 reinstatement fee.

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