Questions & Answers

Real Estate

Why do I need a Real Estate Lawyer?

For most people, home ownership is the most significant financial investment ever made. Whether you’re buying or selling real estate, hiring a real estate attorney will protect you against the unexpected, and ensure a smooth and low-stress closing.

  1. Your attorney’s job is to make sure you, the client home buyer, is happy and taken care of.  Other parties assisting you in a closing have a financial interest such as: commissions; surcharges and junk fees.  Occasionally, their financial interest may come ahead instead of a home buyer’s best interest.
  2. A real estate lawyer protects your rights and interests at every step of the process. The attorney is on your side and is licensed to explain the law to you and provide legal advice.
  3. A real estate attorney has the experience and training to handle real estate issues and problems that most people don’t expect. Because attorneys review many contracts and have an in-depth understanding of the law, they can help you avoid complications or unforeseen situations.
  4. Your attorney reviews and modifies the real estate contract during the attorney review period to ensure your needs and your interests are protected. The real estate contract used here in Northern Illinois includes legalese that is beyond the understanding of many real estate agents/brokers, or the average homebuyer or seller, so get a lawyer to explain the terms of the contract and/or propose modifications that affect your interest.
  5. What happens if the property has an illegal structure, termites, mold, radon, or other potentially hazardous conditions? Inspections protect you from buying a home with defects. Your attorney can negotiate repairs and credits for defects prior to closing.
  6. What are your legal obligations if you back out of the contract? Can you get your earnest money back? Will you owe the other party any money for changing your mind? An attorney will explain the risks of cancelling the contract.
  7. Your attorney works with your mortgage loan officer, the other party’s attorney, and the real estate brokers to track important deadlines such as: home inspection, title search, mortgage commitment, and municipal requirements, so you can close without unnecessary delays.
  8. Your attorney reviews all documents, including the property deed, mortgage loan documents, the closing figures, and the title. Minor mistakes in these documents can create increased costs and significant delays.
  9. Your attorney reviews the financial settlement statement ahead of closing to ensure that your costs and credits match your agreement on the contract. Errors are much harder to correct after the closing and money has changed hands.
  10. You will get great value for your money and a priceless gift: peace of mind! You will rest easy knowing your attorney helped you get through a smooth or stressful closing.

Traffic Law

I just got a speeding ticket, what happens next?

You will get a "must appear" court date from the circuit court clerk or police officer. At that court date, you should appear with an experienced traffic law attorney. You have several options available which are best expained by an attorney. Speeding 20 miles over the limit or more is considered a serious offense, similar to reckless driving, and may result in your driver's license being suspended or revoked for a long time. Your auto insurance may also be dropped if you are convicted of this charge.

What is the point of getting a DUI reduced to a reckless driving?

Getting your DUI reduced to a reckless depends on the facts in your particular arrest. A DUI accident with a high alcohol result (blood alcohol concentration) is very unlikely to be reduced. Most DUIs that are reduced to reckless driving lack the legal proof required of a DUI. The reduced charge sentence may still order you to attend alcohol education and counseling as the DUI.

Defense attorneys can also negotiate with the prosecutor to rescind or dismiss the implied consent statutory suspension on your record. A reckless driving charge is the best alternative to a DUI when negotiating a plea. It's best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to properly advise you of all your options and your chances to beat the case at trial.

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