Criminal driving offenses account for a huge portion of the total car accidents in the United States of America. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 28 people die in drunk driving accidents every day. Due to the tragic consequences, culprits of drinking under the influence offenses (DUI), normally face strict punishments, including prison sentences. 

In Phoenix, a first-time DUI offender can face up to 10 days jail sentence, a $1,250 fine, and a mandatory alcohol screening/education/treatment depending on the magnitude of the offense. Aaron Black, an experienced Phoenix DUI defense attorney says, “First-time offenders can also have their license suspended for 90 days to 1 year and may require an interlock ignition device.” This makes it critical to hire an experienced and dedicated attorney to get you off the hook or get you the minimum sentence possible. Here are some important things to consider when looking for the right defense attorney for your criminal driving case. Before that, let’s go through some important steps to take when arrested for a DUI offense.

Know your rights

Despite being an offender, you still have rights, so you don’t allow the law enforcers to bully you around. Just stay calm and don’t be hostile to avoid being subjected to maximum force. You have the right to remain silent until your attorney shows up. This prevents you from giving yourself up or giving too much information that can be used against you later.

Know your charges 

The first step to take in a drinking under the influence case is to know your charges and possible consequences. Before speaking to an attorney, understand the situation and your legal position. This will inform the type of attorney you need. Although DUI is a criminal offense, it can also have some civil offense components. That is, victims of the accident can decide to sue you for damages due to personal injuries suffered. In such situations, you may need an attorney who can handle both criminal and civil offense cases. 

How to find an attorney 

In criminal cases, the accused normally has the right to a public defender if they cannot afford one. You can take advantage of that right to have a legal representative. However, these attorneys are normally flooded with cases and might not provide you with the best defense possible. Therefore, it will be better to hire a private lawyer to defend your case. A private attorney will have more time for you and will defend your best interest since they are getting paid. In your search for an attorney, you should:

Do proper research

After knowing your charges and consequences, research potential lawyers who can handle the case. Note: your choice of attorney will impact your case significantly; hence, due diligence must be followed.

You can start with an internet search by entering “criminal defense attorneys near you” in any search engine. Out of the numerous names that pop out, select about four and research them. Read online reviews online, paying critical attention to difficult cases won, their ability, and their credibility. 

You can also pay them an office visit to talk about your case. During this encounter, pay critical attention to their communication ability and the level of interest they show in your case. This can help you choose the right attorney.


You can also rely on referrals when choosing an attorney. A recommendation from friends, family members, or work colleagues can be a great lead to choosing the right person to defend you. 

Local Bar Association 

The best way to find an attorney within your jurisdiction is through the local bar association. You can visit the bar office in person and talk to available lawyers or do an internet search.

Things to consider when choosing an attorney 


Experience counts when it comes to criminal defense. The more experienced an attorney is, the more they know the ins and out of relevant laws. Through this, they know the best strategies to employ in your defense. 


The attorney you hire should be a specialized criminal defense attorney. This is because criminal laws are complex and just hiring anybody can do you a great disservice. A specialized attorney won’t only defend you in the courtroom, but also guide you on what to say and the demeanor to put up during hearings. 


Some attorneys may have too many cases at hand and wouldn’t have enough time for yours. This can greatly affect your case, as he/she may not have enough time to listen and guide you. It will also affect bond building necessary to ensure courtroom coordination.  So, check the availability of an attorney before hiring them.


Go in for an attorney you can afford to ensure that you don’t end up in financial crises after the case. Some criminal defense attorneys are very expensive, so get to know the charges of all lawyers you consult, and choose one that fits your budget. Also, discuss the payment structure, whether it’s an upfront payment or partial payment, before the start of the case.


Criminal driving offenses like driving under the influence are serious cases that can end you in jail. Therefore, you should deal with it with all seriousness. Hiring an attorney is your best bet in getting a favorable judgment. In doing so, do proper research, hire someone within the jurisdiction of the case, and go for a specialist who is experienced with a track record.