If you are facing a DUI charge, an aggravated DUI charge, or an extreme DUI charge in Arizona, you need experienced legal representation. You are facing steep penalties, and the prosecutor assigned to your case will do everything he or she can to secure a conviction.

With so many Phoenix DUI lawyers out there, how do you choose? There are several factors you should consider; and, while you need to hire a lawyer quickly, it is also important that you make an informed decision. With this in mind, here are 10 questions you will want to ask when choosing a Phoenix DUI lawyer:

1. Is My Initial DUI Consultation Free?

Some law firms charge for initial DUI consultations, and some do not. Our belief is that initial consultations should be free. You shouldn’t have to pay to find out if a lawyer is a right choice for you. You should be able to get your questions answered before making any decisions, and you should not feel pressured to hire a lawyer because you have already spent money on a consultation.

2. How Much Experience Do You Have Handling DUI Cases in Arizona?

DUI cases are complicated, and they can have substantial and long-term consequences. This is especially true in Arizona. As a result, it is extremely important to choose a lawyer who has several years—and ideally several decades—of experience in the area of DUI defense.

Since many DUI cases go to trial, you will want to choose a lawyer who has a substantial trial record as well. By “substantial,” we mean that the lawyer has tried hundreds of cases before Arizona juries. You can also ask about credentials such as being a certified criminal law specialist as recognized by the Arizona Board of Criminal Specialization and having an “AV” rating.

3. How Will I Be Able to Contact You When I Have Questions?

When you are facing a serious DUI charge, you shouldn’t have to wonder when (or if) you will hear from your defense lawyer. You should be able to get in touch when you have questions, and your lawyer should be committed to getting back to you promptly if he or she cannot answer your question immediately.

4. What Do I Need to Do to Protect Myself?

A lot happens between the time you get arrested for DUI and the time your case goes to trial. During this interim period, you will need to work proactively with your lawyer to position your case for the best outcome possible in light of the circumstances at hand. During your initial consultation (which, remember, should be free), you should feel free to seek advice about what you should do to protect yourself while your case is pending.

5. What Mistakes Do I Need to Avoid?

In addition to knowing what to do while your case is pending, you also need to know what not to do. When facing a DUI charge, mistakes can be incredibly costly. While some of the mistakes you need to avoid are obvious (i.e., getting a second DUI), others are not. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to walk you through a list of mistakes to avoid so that you do not unknowingly put your defense in jeopardy.

6. What Penalties Am I Facing?

As a defendant facing a DUI charge in Arizona, it is important to understand the penalties that are on the table. The penalties you are facing depend on the specific type of DUI with which you are being charged. Broadly speaking, they include fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges (among others), and having a DUI conviction on your record can impact your life long after your sentence has been served.

7. What Defenses Can You Assert On My Behalf?

There are several possible defenses to DUI charges in Arizona. This includes defenses a lawyer may be able to assert on your behalf even if you were drunk behind the wheel. While your lawyer will need to learn the facts of your case in order to build a custom-tailored defense strategy, he or she should be able to provide a preliminary assessment of your potential defenses based on the information you provide.

8. What Are My Chances of Avoiding a DUI Conviction?

Based on the information you provide, a Phoenix DUI lawyer should also be able to provide a preliminary assessment of your chances of avoiding a conviction. While it is important to defend yourself by all means available, it is also important to be realistic. If the facts of your case are such that you face a significant risk of conviction at trial, you (and your lawyer) will need to factor this into your defense strategy.

9. Should I Consider a Plea Bargain (and Can You Help Me Get One)?

If a conviction at trial appears likely, it may be in your best interests to negotiate a plea bargain. Again, your lawyer will need to gather additional information before advising you on how to approach your case, but an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer should be able to explain the basics of plea bargaining and whether this is an option you may want to consider. While accepting a deal means pleading guilty to DUI, a favorable deal will protect you from many of the consequences you would risk facing in court.

10. What Else Do I Need to Know?

When facing a DUI, aggravated DUI, or extreme DUI charge in Arizona, there is a lot you need to know. From deadlines to what to expect in court, an experienced defense lawyer should be able to give you the information you need to move forward with confidence. The more you know, the more you can do to protect yourself, and the more you can reduce your risk of facing a harsh sentence at trial.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Phoenix DUI Lawyer

If you are facing a DUI, aggravated DUI, or extreme DUI charge in Arizona, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. Call 480-405-7922 or get in touch online to speak with an experienced Phoenix DUI lawyer in confidence.