The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius

Firm Overview

On January 1, 2008, I opened my solo general practice firm, The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius, located at 313 East State Street, Sycamore, Illinois. I provide representation to clients in most of the counties in Northern Illinois, including many of the Chicagoland western suburbs. The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius is a general practice firm, concentrating in Criminal Defense, DUI and Traffic Defense, Family, Juvenile, & Mental Health Law Real Estate; Wills; Guardianships & Adoptions; and Mediation.

Example cases

Adult Criminal Defense:
~ All Misdemeanors and Felonies (drug cases, battery, domestic battery, sex offender, firearms)
~ Violations of Probation and Parole
~ Expungements
~ All Petty Offenses and Municipal Ordinance Violations (non-jailable offenses)

Juvenile Law:
~ All Juvenile Delinquency matters
~ Minor Requiring Authoritative Intervention (MRAI)
~ Representing parents and children in Abuse and Neglect cases
~ Juvenile Expungements

DUI and Traffic:
~ Misdemeanor and Felony DUIs
~ Misdemeanor and Felony Driving While License Revoked
~ Driving While License Suspended
~ All Traffic Offenses

Real Estate:
~ Residential and Commercial Real Estate Closings
~ Quit Claim Deed preparation

~ Will preparation for single and married persons

~ Representation for petitioners in private and agency adoptions
~ Guardian Ad Litem appointments in adoptions

Family Law:
~ Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage
~ Parentage actions
~ Post-Decree matters
~ Guardian Ad Litem appointments in custody proceedings

~ Representation of petitioners and wards in contested and uncontested adult guardianship proceedings
~ Representation of minors in all guardianship proceedings
~ Guardian Ad Litem appointments in guardianship proceedings

Mental Health:
~ Representation of petitioners and respondents in involuntary civil commitment and forcible medication hearings

Main Office
313 E. State Street
Sycamore  IL  60178
  • 815-991-2095
  • 815-991-2097


Free Initial Consultation?
Free initial consultations for all criminal matters and $150.00 initial consultation in most civil cases, except real estate.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Depends on the type of case. Feel free to call for a fee schedule.
Hourly Rates

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Other days and hours and house calls available by appointment, upon request.

We are available to return phone calls after hours and on weekends.
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I chose my primary category of criminal defense and juvenile law as a result of my eight years as an assistant public defender. That experience made me realize the need in the criminal justice system for honest and compassionate advocates for those unable to advocate for themselves.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I believe it is important for clients to understand legal procedures and substantive legal issues affecting them so that they can be knowledgeable at each step of the process, should they find themselves confronted with a specific legal problem. I do not believe, however, that clients by simply "educating themselves on legal issues" can be considered to be fully qualified to represent themselves pro se in all cases.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes, in some instances.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I am more than willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves in very limited types of cases, such as simple traffic offenses and most ordinance violations, punishable by fines only. As a matter of fact, I have an ethical problem with taking a client's fees in a simple traffic or petty offense case if I know the client could obtain the same outcome pro se that an attorney could in representing the client. On the other hand, I am very reluctant to coach a client in cases in which sentences could involve incarceration. When an individual's liberty rights are at stake, it is imperative that the individual has a qualified advocate to attempt to preserve those rights. An individual who is not an attorney may not have the education and skills necessary to do that on his or her own behalf.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

My education and work experience have given me the tools to be able to work with all types of individual in all kinds of situations. My university and post graduate education in the field of Anthropology gave me an insight into and understanding of persons who are different from myself. The major tenet of the study of Anthropology is the acceptance of cultural differences among societies and the focus on our similarities. As a waitress, high school teacher and advertising sales consultant, I learned how to deal with persons of all ages, races and social classes.

I believe that I am an effective negotiator and communicator. I would rather settle a case in which all parties are satisfied than litigate for the sake of litigating. On the other hand, I am a zealous advocate for my client when it is necessary. I attempt to communicate with my clients using language they understand, as opposed to throwing about legal jargon that is unfamiliar, confusing and frightening to them.

Mary F. Petruchius

Mary F. Petruchius was born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois. She received her B.S. degree in Anthropology from Loyola University, Chicago, and earned 24 hours toward her M.A. degree at Loyola. For two years, Mary taught Anthropology at St. Scholastica Academy in Chicago. She organized and presented the first all-high school rape prevention seminar in Chicago in the early 1980's.

When speaking about her unique background, Mary said, "With my education in the field of cultural Anthropology, I studied how humans behave. I learned not only how different human beings are, but how alike we can be. This academic background provided a solid foundation for my career as a teacher and then as an attorney.

Mary received her J.D. degree from the John Marshall Law School, Chicago. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mary completed mediation training with the Conflict Resolution and Divorce Mediation Institute and is often appointed as a guardian ad litem in custody and adoption cases.

Mary Petruchius spent the first eight years of her legal career as an assistant public defender in Kane and DeKalb Counties, representing indigent persons in criminal, juvenile, and mental health law cases. In 1995, Mary wrote and edited the Mental Health Law Handbook for bench and attorney use in commitment and medication hearings in Kane County. This experience helped her develop additional insights other attorneys do not possess in assessing clients and cases.

Mary was a partner in the law firm of Schmack & Petruchius, Sycamore, Illinois, from 2000-08. She opened The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius in January, 2008, in Sycamore, Illinois.

Mary Petruchius was voted Illinois Super Lawyer by her peers in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014. She received the 2011 Illinois State Bar Association's (ISBA) Matthew Maloney Tradition of Excellence Award. This award is given to one Illinois attorney each year who exhibits passion, zealous advocacy, and personal service, both to the profession and to the bar. When the Illinois Lawyer Now journal asked her for her response to receiving this prestigious award, Mary said, "I love being a lawyer. I love getting up and going to work every day, and to receive recognition from my peers and colleagues for doing just that is beyond an honor. It just can't get any better than that! It is such a privilege to receive this award in memory of Matt Maloney. I will humbly strive to continue Matt's tradition of practicing law and living my live with the same '"passion, zealous advocacy, and personal service.'"

On June 20, 2014, Mary received the ISBA Board of Governors Award, which honors members whose efforts in furthering the goals of the ISBA substantially exceed that which is normally expected of its members. She was nominated for this tribute by the 2013-14 ISBA President, Paula Hudson Holderman.

Mary served on the ISBA Assembly for the 16th Judicial Circuit, the Association's governing body. She is an Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) Board Member. The IBF is the charitable arm of the ISBA. It gives individuals with limited means access to the justice system and assists lawyers who cannot support themselves due to incapacity.

Mary Petruchius was the 2013-14 Chair of the ISBA Standing Committee on Women & the Law and she is a current member of the ISBA Diversity Leadership Council and Child Law Section Council. She has participated in several continuing legal education programs and has authored numerous legal articles.

Mary is a member of the DeKalb & Kane County and the American Bar Associations (ABA), the ABA Law Practice Management and Women Rainmakers Section, and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She was a member of the Leadership Committee for the 2011-12 Prairie State Campaign for Legal Services for the 16th Judicial Circuit. In 2010 and 2013, Mary participated in the Women Everywhere Community Service Day in Chicago.

Mary Petruchius is a member of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association and is an attorney title agent for Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. and Fox Title Company. Mary is currently on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Within her community, Mary Petruchius co-founded Trusted Networking Advisors, a business referral group. She is past President of DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, Kishwaukee Women's Network, and is a former executive board member of the DeKalb County Hospice and Duck Soup Natural Food Coop. In 2010, Mary was the Chair of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women and was its 2010, 2011 Chair of the Circle of Red.

Since 2007, Mary is a monthly volunteer at the Pay-It-Forward House, a Ronald McDonald-type home providing respite for the families of patients in Kindred Hospital, Sycamore, Illinois. She has served as an election judge since 1996.
  • Bar Number: 6206035
    Illinois , 1991
  • John Marshall Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1989
    Chicago, IL
  • Loyola University
    Bachelor of Science , 1974
    Chicago, IL

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