The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius

Experienced, Personalized & Attentive Counsel

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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?

We offer free initial consultations in all traffic, DUI, criminal, and juvenile cases. We charge a $50 one-hour initial consultation fee in all other types of cases.

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.

Mary F. Petruchius

After graduating from law school I spent the first eight years of my legal career as an assistant public defender in Kane and De Kalb Counties represnting indigent clients in criminal, juvenile and hental health law cases. In June of 2000, I partnered with Richard Schmack to form the general practice law firm of Schmack & Petruchius, located in Sycamore, Illinois.

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 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.

Personal interests:

The freedom of solo practice affords me additional time to continue my active involvement in various bar associations as well as in the De Kalb County Juvenile Justice Council and other local civic organizations. I am a volunteer with the Illinois State Bar Association's Lawyer in the Classroom project, a program that pairs local attorneys with private and public middle and high schools to help educators plan and present lessons on our legal system and other issues with law-related themes. As a solo practitioner, I am able to pursue my love of the law and my passion for teaching.

I love to travel, and am an avid reader of many varieties of fiction and non-fiction. I enjoy all types of music and dance. My husband and I often like to prepare great dinners to share with family and friends.

  • Bar Number: 6206035
    Illinois , 1991
  • John Marshall Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1989
    Chicago, IL
  • Loyola University
    Bachelor of Science , 1974
    Chicago, IL
    For two years, I taught Anthropology at St. Scholastica Academy in Chicago. During this time, I organized and presented the first all-high school rape prevention seminar in the City of Chicago in the early 1980's.

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