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|IL||Active And Authorized To Practice Law||1991||05/16/2017|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Winnebago County Bar Association||Member||1997 - Present|
|Illinois State Bar Association||Member||1991 - Present|
|University of Illinois College of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1991|
|Illinois State University||Criminal Justice Sciences||BS - Bachelor of Science||1988|
Posted by anonymous
Retaining Debra was one of the smartest things I did. I was charged with multiple felonies and Debra’s firm and her name consistently came up when I asked my network for attorney recommendations. I wish I had hired her sooner.
Three qualities you want to have in a defense lawyer are professionalism, honesty, and compassion. Debra possesses all three of these to a high degree.
In terms of professionalism, Debra and her staff communicated with me in a timely and effective manner. She made time for her me as a client and ensured that my questions were answered so that I could make informed decisions. Debra made sure she understood all the facts of my case. She also ensured that I understood the evidence of my case, both good and bad. She is respected by the legal community in Northern Illinois and has good rapports with prosecutors and other defense attorneys, including the prosecutor for my case. Debra saw my case through from arraignment to conclusion and was truly my advocate the whole way through. She successfully filed orders with the court that lifted travel restrictions and other limits while I was out on bond, as well as following through on issues after the conclusion of the case.
Debra is honest. She laid out all possible scenarios of my case and also relayed her previous experiences in cases similar to mine and their outcomes. She provided me with several reality checks. They certainly helped when my emotions and fears got out of whack over the course of the judicial process. Debra answered my questions in an frank and open manner. Like any lawyer, she and her staff maintained confidentiality.
Finally, Debra is compassionate towards her clients. She reached out to another former client in order to connect me with a therapist who was in my area and whose practiced treated the symptoms I needed help addressing. She also in turn reached out to me to see if I could speak with another client who had a similar case and needed assurance and encouragement. As I was a younger adult during my case, Debra met with my parents in her office and before court hearings to keep them apprised of the case as well. She is a lawyer who cares about your well-being as a person, not just that you get the best outcome in your case. In my mind, that is incredibly important.
I would highly recommend Debra and her firm to any person facing criminal charges.
Posted by Tony
I retained Debra when I caught wind that an accident I was involved in was going to go before a grand jury. From that point on she was able to unitize her resources and confirm that my accident was in fact going to be going in front of a grand jury. She was upfront and basically told me the news I didn't want to hear, and it was that I would most likely be indicted, and in fact 2.5 months later I was. She was able to use her connections to find out when the warrant was going to be issued so I could turn myself in rather than being arrested. I was charged with 7 serious offenses. 2 Counts of Reckless Homicide and 5 Counts of Aggravated Reckless Driving. My case didn't involve driving under the influence, my blood showed no drugs or alcohol. The major factor in the case was speed. The state alleged I was driving in excess of 120MPH. I knew I wasn't doing this speed and the state wasn't making any deals. She dug in and utilized multiple resources to get the truth behind the accident. She utilized Sempke forensic to perform a full accident reconstruction (which the state did not do) which confirmed I was not driving in excess of 120MPH, rather I was going between 80-84 in a 65MPH Highway speed zone. (Bypass 20) I do accept responsibility for the accident and the injuries that was incurred by multiple people, and am still sorry for the pain I caused. I am thankful I retained Debra as my lawyer. We went to trial and I was found Not Guilty of Reckless Homicide, but Guilty of Aggravated Reckless Driving. Due to a lack of a criminal past Deb was able to get me a very lenient sentence that we all could live with. Debra followed up with a few of the jurors to get there take on the case, which shows me she is a consummate professional, that continually seeks to improve in her area of expertise. Furthermore her job was not finished after the sentencing hearing. She helped me to get the sentence further reduced, 180 days work release for the 4 felony convictions of Aggravated Reckless driving. She was also able to get the judge to allow me to travel outside of the state before the sentencing date for a job interview. Get permission from the judge to attend a defensive driving course while on work release, and attain a 24 hour pass to attend my step mothers funeral. She is a tremendous trial lawyer. I know that during the trial one of the public defenders approached her to let her know he was there to take notes. I have taken the time to write this lengthy review because I am thankful that Debra was able to help me through the worst nightmare of my life. My wife and son passed away in the accident, and I injured an innocent family of four. I am still to this day ashamed and sorry for the accident but I am thankful for the work and support from Debra Schafer and highly recommend her if you are in dire need of some help.
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