Felony or misdemeanor charges

Criminal Attorney

With almost twenty years of criminal law experience, Daniel Kay knows how to put a case together and how to take one apart. From murder cases to misdemeanors, his experience will make you feel at ease as you go through the process.


You just want out . . .

Help is on the way!

The law in Illinois for divorces changed in January 2016. Its going to take a while to see how the courts are going to adapt to all the new changes. The last thing you need to worry about is your attorney. Get peace of mind. Get an experienced attorney working on your case.


Don't understand the DUI process?

Got a DUI?

DUI’s can be very technical and very confusing. Daniel Kay is an experienced DUI defense attorney. He knows this area front and back. If you got a DUI, you need to give us a call.

Putting Clients First

Daniel Kay

Daniel Kay, Attorney at Law
A military veteran, Daniel is a 1996 graduate of Southern Illinois School of Law.

Southern Illinois Lawyer Daniel Kay:

People don’t land on my page because it’s interesting. They don’t Google ‘divorce attorney’ or ‘criminal defense attorney’ because they want to check out a cool web page.

“They come here because something bad has happened, and they need to find a lawyer. A good one. One who will listen and get results. They need someone to take care of the legal issue so they can stop worrying and move on with their life.

“We are a small office with a big impact! My Legal Secretary Hope and I handle divorces, criminal defense, DUI, and employment law. We are excellent at what we do. We are professional and personal at the same time.

“When it comes down to it, the majority of legal issues are handled in local courtrooms. Located in downtown Herrin, we are regulars in Marion, Benton, Carbondale, Murphysboro, and Harrisburg. You need someone who is familiar with the local legal community to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. If you need peace of mind, go ahead and make the call today. You will be happy you did.”

– Attorney Daniel Kay – Southern Illinois Attorney

About Daniel Kay

Over the past twenty years, Daniel has served on both sides of the isle in criminal, and DUI cases (prosecution and defense), and has experience as a seasoned divorce attorney. Woven throughout his time as an Assistant Public Defender and Assistant Attorney General, Daniel pursued a career with the Army Reserve and the National Guard. During his time with the military, he served as a Combat Medic, Infantry officer, a military prosecutor and military defense attorney. In 2012 he retired from the service and also left the Attorney General’s office to set up his law practice where focuses on criminal defense, DUI, divorce and, employment law.

  • Criminal Felony Defense
  • Criminal Misdemeanor Defense
  • DUI Defense
  • Divorce
  • Modification of Divorce Agreements
  • Order of Protection
  • Employment law
  • Illinois, November 1996
  • Admitted to practice in the Southern District of Illinois (Federal)
  • B.A. in Speech Communication, University of Illinois, 1992
  • J.D., Southern Illinois Unversity, 1996
  • Assistant Public Defender, Jackson County, IL, 1996-1998
  • Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Carbondale, IL 1998-2012
  • Owner, Daniel Kay, Attorney at Law, Herrin, IL 2012-Present
  • Army Reserve and Illinois Army National Guard, 1988-2012
  • Schools attended: Basic Training, Combat Medic School (91A), State Officer Candidate School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Judge Advocate Course Advance Course
  • J.A.G. Officer (Trial Counsel – Prosecutor) in Ft. Riley, KS, 2003-2004
  • Volunteered for duty in Balad, Iraq, 2008-2009
  • Senior Defense Attorney
  • Award Bronze Star, 2009
  • Major in U.S. Army Reserve at retirement in 2012
Major Daniel Kay

Major Daniel Kay at Camp Victory, Iraq in 2008.

Family Law


An experienced divorce lawyer can help you as you go through the process of getting a divorce. Lets face it – you don’t know what you don’t know. Add the emotion part and its a recipe for trouble. You might not understand your mistake until years later. That’s why you need an experienced divorce lawyer with you, guiding you through the process.

Depending on how things go, there can be several court appearances and multiple legal documents to be drawn-up and filed. Your finances, your property, all the intimate details of your life need to be separated in such a way to make sure you get what is fair to you. Let the law office of Daniel Kay, Attorney at Law help you. Call today.

Property Division

Property Division

If you are going through a divorce and children are involved you need the services of an experienced child custody attorney. A divorce involves splitting the family in two and the kids can feel confused and conflicted about their role in the process. When children are involved issues need to be discussed for example: child support, what is the visitation schedule going to look like, how are major decisions going to be made, and who is going to be the designated residential parent. You don’t need to make those decisions alone. If you have an experienced divorce lawyer, one with experience in child custody issues, it can make the process easier. Give our office a call today and let us help you.

Child Custody

Child Custody

A property division lawyer is more than just someone who fills out divorce paperwork for you. They are there to educate you about the law and your rights during a divorce. You should feel comfortable with that person because they are there to walk you through one of the most difficult times in your life.

Your life is going from two houses to one. As a married couple you were able to combine your resources and lean on each other for support. You were able to do more with your money simply because there were two of you sharing your money. The divorce process makes you understand how tough if can be to keep the same old lifestyle living as a single person again. Fortunately, with an experienced divorce lawyer on your side you will know where you stand and what you are entitled to keep so you can make a new life for yourself.

Top Frequently Asked Questions


It depends on how many charges you have against you and what they happen to be. As a rule, felony cases will cost more than a misdemeanor case. Another factor is whether you have any prior criminal history. If you have a lengthy criminal history there are potentially more issues to have to sort through and you can expect the State’s Attorneys office will be more apt to seek stiffer sentences. Specific dollar figures can be provided during the consultation.
If you want to have confidence that you are doing all you can in your criminal case, you want experience. I have been practicing criminal law for almost twenty years and have spent time as both a prosecutor and defense attorney. I have tried murder cases, drug cases, aggravated battery cases, etc. I know the law, the prosecutors and the judges where these cases are brought. If you are in trouble that’s what you need.
We would need to talk about the substance of your case and I would need to see the evidence from the other side before I could make any kind of accurate prediction. Details matter in these case and each case is different. Maybe the police got lazy in your case and didn’t follow the correct procedure or maybe the law isn’t what you think it is. You just can’t tell until an experienced attorney studies the case over. If an attorney tells who you can beat the charges over the phone, you should hang up and go to someone else. A reputable defense attorney will NOT make any sort of firm forecast for a client until they see the evidence from the other side.


It depends because each case is different. Family law cases require refundable money up front (i.e. security retainer). The final costs will depend on the amount of time the case takes to resolve, the complexity of the issues involved and the whether the other side is willing to compromise.
Each case is different. There are a lot of things that can influence how quickly cases resolve: how many cases are on the docket in each county, how many issues need to be worked out, how reasonable the other side wants to be. A “normal” case could be on the docket for two to three months. Again, there is a lot of variation from one case to the next.
If you and your spouse don’t already have an agreement on your own the court will direct you to attend mediation shortly after the first appearance. If mediation doesn’t result in an agreement then each side has to present their own plan to the court for the judge to make the decision. The plan must include discussions of items like who has chief decision making responsibilities, access to medical records, etc. They will consider the best interest of the child in making the decision.


Couple of different factors come into play in answering that. The summary suspension will kick in 46 days after you were given notice (usually, when you took the breath/blood test), so the clock is ticking. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge the suspension. So far as the DUI criminal case is concerned most first time offenders are offered court supervision which wouldn’t impact your license. For people who have had a previous DUI (i.e. you have had supervision on a DUI before) you will have your license revoked if you get convicted of the DUI charge. In all instances where driving is important to you, you need an experienced attorney to review your case and help identify possible issues.
Just like in criminal cases, it depends on how many citations you have against you and what they happen to be. If you have prior DUI’s expect it to cost more. Specific dollar figures can be provided during the consultation.
Most DUI cases will be concluded within two to four months from the time of the arrest.

Criminal Law

Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are a few events in your life as traumatic as being charged with a crime. Regardless of the reason it’s a big deal to you and something you take serious.

The strain on your life can be tremendous. You have to pay bond money to get out of jail, then you have to scramble and find money to hire an attorney. The judge is scaring you to death with talk of large fines if convicted and time in jail. All your plans for the future have to be put on hold until the case is over.

You can help reduce the stress by hiring an experienced criminal lawyer. An experienced felony attorney will be familiar with the judges and the local courthouses. With an office in Herrin, Daniel Kay, Attorney at Law is centrally located to the county seats in Benton, Marion, Murphysboro, and Harrisburg. Daniel Kay has been practicing criminal law for almost twenty years and knows these courtrooms well. Whether it’s aggravated battery, residential burglary, retail theft or any other criminal charge you need to have an experienced criminal lawyer working for you.

Aggravated Battery Lawyer

According to Illinois law you commit an aggravated battery when you commit a regular battery (misdemeanor) and then because of who the victim was, the type of injury or where it happened the case becomes a felony. The last part of proof has more to do with proving the context of what happened by explaining that the victim had a particular status (i.e. police officer, fireman. . .), or that they were seriously injured. Aggravated battery charges are very serious and a conviction for this offense can ruin a person’s reputation.

With an aggravated battery charge leveled against you, you need the help of an experienced aggravated battery lawyer. Whether your case is brought in Benton or Harrisburg, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to help guide you through the review of the evidence. Daniel Kay, has experience helping clients with aggravated battery cases. Give him a call today and let him assist you.

Retail Theft Lawyer

According to Illinois law you commit retail theft when you take an item from a store with the intent to steal or alter the purchase label so you avoid paying the full value. The state must establish intent to steal and they can do this by your conduct or other circumstances.
If the total retail value of the items is less than $300 it’s a class A misdemeanor. If the value is over $300 is a Class 3 felony. If you have a prior retail theft conviction or prior crime involving theft its a Class 4 felony. If you left by way of an emergency exit it will make the offense a felony even for a first offense.

With retail theft charges the deck is stacked against you. Whether your case is brought in Benton or Harrisburg, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to help guide you through the review of the evidence. Daniel Kay, has experience helping clients with retail theft cases. Give him a call today and let him assist you.

DUI Lawyer

DUI Defense

To save your license and reputation, you must contact an experienced DUI lawyer to win your case. Being charged with a DUI in Williamson, Jackson, Saline or Franklin counties is different from being charged in Chicago. If you can’t drive, you can’t work and the criminal penalties and consequences that can accompany a DUI are severe.

Plea bargin -vs- Trial

Most people who get ticketed for a DUI believe they should take a plea, or they have a public defender to handle their case — essentially an over-worked attorney without the time to offer personal attention to you or your case. In both situations, clients may have no idea if they have a potential defense available to them. The truth is you won’t know unless an experienced drunk driving attorney conducts an aggressive and thorough review of your case.

I am an experienced DUI attorney in Illinois who has won DUI cases both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. With more than 19 years under my belt, I have a credible history along with successful outcomes of DUI cases, and I am available and willing to handle your case.
Don’t go through this process by yourself. You will receive the superior personal attention you deserve from a professional DUI defense attorney. Even if this is your second or third offense, I have the experience and skills to aggressively fight for your case without charging an arm and a leg.

When it comes to a DUI charge, time is of the essence, and so are details. Trust me to sift through the details on your behalf to develop an effective solution to your legal issues. If you or someone you know needs to contact one of the most experienced and aggressive DUI lawyers in Illinois, please contact me today. When you think DUI lawyer, think Daniel Kay.

What to expect from each county


Hon. Angie Kochan
Williamson County Circuit Clerk
200 West Jefferson Street
Marion, IL  62948

Phone: (618) 997-1301

$247 to file a divorce petition. (This doesn’t include $60 dollars for service of summons).
$147 to file an answer or response.
Hon. Judge Carolyn Smoot (Note: Announced retirement eff. Nov. 2016)


Nancy Hobbs
Franklin County Circuit Clerk
P.O. Box 485
Benton, IL 62812

Phone: (618) 489-2011

Filing fees for a petition for dissolution = $267 (Does not include the $60 cost for service of summons)
Filing fees for an answer = $167
Hon. Associate Judge Thomas Dinn


Cindy Svanda
Jackson County Circuit Clerk
1001 Walnut Street
Murphysboro, IL 62966

Phone: 618-687-7300
Fax: 618-684-6378

To file a petition for dissolution = $168 (Does not include the $60 cost for service of summons)
To file an answer or response = $107
Hon. Circuit Judge Chuck Grace
For cases involving children the parties will be required to complete an online parenting class. The cost is $60.


Hon. Randy Nyburg
Saline County Circuit Clerk
10 East Poplar Street
Harrisburg, IL  62946

Phone: (618) 253-5096

To file a petition for dissolution = $157 (Does not include the $60 cost for service of summons)
To file an answer or response = $122

Uncontested divorce total fees = $277

Hon. Associate Judge Todd Lambert

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1 North Park Ave., Herrin, IL 62948