DUI & Criminal Defense

2501 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Phoenix DUI Lawyer | Phoenix DUI Attorney


The Definitive Guide (2020)


If you are arrested for DUI, Extreme DUI, or Super-Extreme DUI and seeking a Phoenix DUI Lawyer then here are some things you want to know:

  • How a typical DUI case progresses through the Phoenix court. 
  • Unique issues in Phoenix DUI cases.
  • Essential information to Phoenix DUI allegation necessary for your defense.

Is this what you are looking for?  


Here are some things experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyers know. Most DUI arrests in Phoenix are prosecuted in the Phoenix Municiple Court. At the same time, being arrested for DUI in Phoenix does not mean your case will be prosecuted in Phoenix City Court.

Police have discretion to submit DUI charges to a county court (called a “justice court”).  In practice, if you are arrested by Phoenix Police for DUI then your case is sent to the Phoenix Municiple Court.

On the other hand, if your DUI arrest occured by a deputy with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the Maricopa County Sherrif’s Office then your case will be sent to justice court.

Maricopa County Justice Court DUI

What do you need to know about a DUI in Phoenix Municiple Court?

Recent issues with the Phoenix Police Department You Should Know

If you are arrested for a DUI in you should be aware of these problem with the police dpartment that claims you violated Arizona DUI laws. These are issues that Phoenix DUI Attorneys should be investigsting.

In any large organization, there are good people and people not so good.  The Phoenix Police Department is no exception.   Accordingly, you should be aware of some of the more notable things that have come out about the Phoenix Police Department.  Here is a recent article that provides: “A Timeline of the Phoenix Police Department’s Worst Misconduct Scandals.”

More recent issues in the media: 

“Lawrence represents very high-profile clients who greatly depend on a good outcome, and this guy will deliver.  This is a prosecutors’ worse nightmare, and it should be that way if you need an attorney.”

David E.

Real Client’s Husband, Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Police Officer McGillis - Accused of Misconduct

*All charges against Ms. Valenzuela have now been dismissed.

Guardian Koplow Attorney

Revealed: Phoenix officer brutally attacked woman during minor traffic stop, then took her to jail

Body-cam footage shows an officer with a history of misconduct claims slammed 23-year-old Mariah Valenzuela to the ground within seconds of traffic stop.

He’s the epitome of all things wrong with part of the police department,” said Lawrence Koplow, a former prosecutor who now works as a defense attorney. “It’s ‘us v them’. If you’re not on his side, you’re the enemy

Lawrence Koplow, Statement to The Guardian
NBC News Koplow Lawyer

Phoenix officer accused of misconduct after woman says she was injured during traffic stop

A woman stopped by a Phoenix officer for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the street. The arrest left her with injuries.

Attorney says woman was 'brutalized' by Phoenix officer during traffic stop

Ms. Valenzuela was booked on charges of DUI and resisting arrest. However, all charges have been dismissed. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office confirms it is dropping the felony resisting arrest charge.

'Why Don't You Act Like a Young Lady?': Video Shows Cop Slamming a Woman into a Car

Pulled over for a minor traffic stop, the 23-year-old ended up with cuts on her head and legs, abrasions on her hands and blown-out blood vessels in her eyes, per the complaint.

Something to consider about this incident:

Arizona law has a few specific requirements for an officer making an arrest. A.R.S 13-3888, titled “Method of arrest by officer without warrant” provides:

When making an arrest without a warrant, the officer shall inform the person to be arrested of his authority and the cause of the arrest, unless the person to be arrested is then engaged in the commission of an offense, or is pursued immediately after its commission or after an escape, or flees or forcibly resists before the officer has opportunity so to inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest.

Phoenix Police Facebook Posts
Kinds of DUI Cases in Phoenix Municiple Courts

All DUI cases prosecuted in Phoenix Municipal Court are misdemeanors. That is first time DUI offenses, Extreme DUI cases, second-time​ misdemeanors DUI case and Super-Extreme DUI cases. FELONY CASES are not heard in Phoenix City Court.

Body Camera Videos

In 2019, many Phoenix police officers started using body camera videos. These videos can be an indispensible tool for defending you DUI allegation.

The DUI Process in Phoenix

DUI cases begin in Phoenix Municipal Court when a citation or complaint is filed alleging you violated Arizona DUI laws.

The Arraignment is provided on your citation or on a summons mailed to you. The primary purpose of your arraignment in Phoenix City court is to inform you of what specific Arizona DUI laws the police claim you violated. If you are cited with an Arizona DUI and released a few hours later, then an arraignment is your first court hearing.  

An arraignment can feel more adminstrative than legal.  If you hire a private Phoenix DUI Lawyer then they can appear on your behalf at the arraignment. 

Pre-Trial Disposition Conferences – a “PDC” give your attorney a chance to discuss your case with the prosecutor, monitor discovery and enter into plea negotiations.

Jury Trial  – if you were unable to resolve your case then it will proceed to trial.  Arizona specifically makes DUI cases jury eligible. 

The Phoenix Crime Laboratory

The majority of Phoenix DUI cases are based upon a chemical test. Blood is tested for an alcohol concentation, a drug concentration or a drug metabolite. Urine is analyzed for the prior use of medications or drugs.

Phoenix DUI Van

After a DUI arrest a blood sample is typcially drawn by Phoenix police officers.  Once collected it’s sent to the Phoenix Crime Lab.

Upon arrival at the Phoenix Crime Laboratory the sample is then tested using a technique known as gas chromatography.

How do you challenge a blood alcohol test result (BAC result) in a Phoenix DUI case?

Point of Concern:

The Phoenix Crime Lab (as are other forensic labs in Arizona) is a wing of the Phoenix Police Department.  This raises concerns as to their independence. 

The National Academy of Sciences is one of the world’s most respected scientific organizations.  They were tasked by the United States Congress to evaluate our country’s crime labs.  One of their primary findings was that crime labs should be independent from police departments. 

The danger being, labs set up as the Phoenix Crime Lab currently is, can suffer from a bias that favors supporting an officer’s arrest decision – instead of just practicing science.

If my car was impounded by the Phoenix Police Department who do I call to get it?

The specific facts of a DUI arrest may dictates who needs to be contacted.  However, a good place to start is with the Phoenix Police Department Code Enforcement, Vehicle Impound Unit.  

Their phone number is (602) 495-2096.

How does a person charged with DUI in Phoenix Municipal Court get a copy of the police report?

Your attorney will be given a copy of the police report as part of the discovery process.  However, police reports can also be obtained directly from the Police Department.  

Here is a link: Phoenix Police Records Department.


Why wasn't I charged with a Phoenix DWI?

People often say I searched for a Phoenix DWI Attorney and coud not find anything?  That is because Arizona does not have an offense called “DWI.”  Arizona uses the term DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI and Aggravated DUI.

Who is best dui lawyer in phoenix?

To be candid, that is somthing you will have to decide.  I would ask you to read MY PROFILE and then do some homework. Perhaps you may want to:

  1. Call the State bar of Arizona to see if they have any issues?
  2. Find out if they have done a significant amount of DUI jury trials in the city of Phoenix?
  3. Can the lawyer provide specfic examples of cases and DUI Jury trials they actually won in Phoenix city court?
  4. Is the attorney aware of the critical problems with the Phoenix Crime Laboratory?  Have they litigated any of these issues?
  5. Ask the lawyers you speak with: who would they hire – if they were charged with a DUI – and looking for a DUI lawyer in Phoenix?
Phoenix Municipal Court Information

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