DUI & Criminal Defense

111 East Taylor Street, Suite 120
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Phoenix DUI Lawyer


The Definitive Guide (2019)


If you are arrested for 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.”

Here are a few more recent issues in the media: 

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.

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

Where is it? How do you get there?

Forms and Templates

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