DUI & Criminal Defense

2501 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

Phoenix DUI Lawyer | Phoenix DUI Attorney


The Definitive Guide


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 driving under the influence case progresses through the Phoenix court. 
  • DUI Defense issues unique to cases prosecuted in Phoenix AZ.
  • Essential information to Phoenix DUI allegation necessary for your criminal defense.

Is this what you are looking for?  


Here are some things experienced DUI Lawyers know. Most DUI arrests in Phoenix are prosecuted in the Phoenix Municipal 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 Municipal Court.

On the other hand, if your DUI arrest occurred by a deputy with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the Maricopa County Sheriff’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 DUI defense issues with the Phoenix Police Department You Should Know (Phoenix, AZ)

If you are arrested for a DUI you should be aware of these criminal defense issues with the police department that claims you violated Arizona DUI laws. These are issues that Phoenix DUI Attorneys should be investigating.

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: 

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 | DUI Attorney | 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.

'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 AZ Courts

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

Body Camera Videos & DUI Defense

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 AZ

DUI cases begin in Phoenix AZ 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 (usually handled by your DUI attorney).

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

Pre-Trial Disposition Conferences – a “PDC” give your DUI 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 DUI cases are based upon a chemical test. Blood is tested for an alcohol concentration, a drug concentration or a drug metabolite. Urine is analyzed for the prior use of medications or drugs. DUI defense requires the ability of your DUI Attorney to challenge these measurements.

Phoenix DUI Lawyer

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.


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 AZ 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.”  However, DUI DWI practically mean the same thing. Arizona uses the term DUI, Extreme DUI, Super Extreme DUI and Aggravated DUI.


Who are best DUI lawyers in Phoenix AZ?

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 specific examples of cases and DUI Jury trials they actually won in Phoenix AZ 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 defense lawyer 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

Where is it? How do you get there? (Phoenix AZ)

Phoenix Police Officers on the Brady List

In Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution is required to disclose all evidence that is favorable or may exonerate a defendant. This resulted in prosecutor creating “Brady Lists” in criminal cases to identify officers that have demonstrated dishonesty.

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(602) 494-3444

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2501 N. 7th Street | Phoenix AZ 85006

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