You work hard for your money and do not want to waste it. If you lose your driver’s license, you may be tempted to have attend a Secretary of State driver’s license hearing without the benefit of a lawyer You may have been told to attend the first hearing on your own because “they deny everybody the first time”. ‘Everybody” who does not know what they are doing, or who hires an attorney who does not understand the process, or who believes what an ill-informed evaluator tells them will get denied the first time.
However, this does not have to be the outcome if you hire an experienced and knowledgeable driver’s license hearing lawyer. Certainly the fees you pay are important, but if a lawyer who charges low fees does not have the experience and knowledge of the process to achieve a favorable outcome, you have not saved any money; you have wasted all of the money you paid him.
Ask a potential lawyer these questions: How many hearings do you attend each week; how long have you been doing this; is this the main part of your practice, or do you just do this “on the side” to bring in extra money; how much experience did you have as a Secretary of State hearing officer before you started representing clients; how many articles have you published or lectures have you given to other lawyers on this topic?
Do other lawyers throughout the state and at the Secretary of State recognize your knowledge in this area of the law; what is the percentage of cases you handle at which your client received a successful outcome; how many times have you won a case in the court of appeals?
Do you have a website or legal blog that discusses DUI and driver’s license issues; do you have a fulltime staff member who devotes her entire day to driver’s license reinstatement issues?
If you have an Illinois hold on your out-of-state license, ask the lawyer you are interviewing if he knows in what ways out-of-state cases are different and how many of those he has handled for clients?
When you find a lawyer who can answers all these questions in a manner satisfactory to you, you have found the lawyer you should hire.