What to Look for in a DUI Lawyer

Are you facing DUI charges? If so, then you are going to need the best DUI lawyer available. After all, a DUI conviction can be life-altering, and you would want to be spared the consequences that come with it. A competent DUI attorney representing you is your best chance of avoiding a conviction, and you have to find one as soon as charges are filed against you.

Finding a good DUI lawyer, however, could take some work on your part, and you can’t just depend on the yellow pages to help you find one. There are certain qualities that your DUI attorney must have to improve your chances of getting acquitted, or at least getting lighter sentences should you get convicted. Here are some of the qualities that you need to look for in a DUI lawyer.

Extensive DUI experience and training

Technically, you can hire anyone with a license to practice law to defend you, but you would do well to hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases, and who’s had years of experience handling them. With his or her deeper knowledge of DUI laws, you stand a better chance of avoiding a DUI conviction than you would with a regular criminal lawyer.

A good track record in court

Having an experienced DUI lawyer by your side would be a relief, but you will still need to know how he or she has been faring in court over the years. Good for you if your prospective DUI lawyer has a reputation for winning, but if you find out that the lawyer you’re thinking about hiring rarely wins DUI cases, you might want to look elsewhere.

A spotless ethical record

Your DUI attorney may be the best one in town or even the state, but if he or she has a history of malpractice or has been sanctioned by the State Bar, your DUI case could hang in the balance. Judges tend to look not too kindly upon lawyers with spotty ethical records.

Fortunately for you, the disciplinary records of attorneys are available to the public. Just visit the website of your State Bar, and you will readily find out whether or not he’s in good standing.

Excellent communication skills

A good DUI lawyer—or any lawyer for that matter—must be more than just knowledgeable about the law. He or she must also be a great communicator. In any legal case, presentation is essential. With first-rate communication skills, your lawyer will be able to present and argue your case in the clearest way possible. 


It’s hard to place your trust in a DUI lawyer who doesn’t appear confident in any way at all. Your DUI attorney must possess a confidence that will give you some strength and peace of mind all throughout your case. Avoid the ones who swagger with too much confidence though.

Charges fees you can afford

By nature, legal services are expensive, and powerhouse attorneys typically charge higher-than-usual fees. If you can afford those fees, then go on ahead and hire the priciest lawyers in town. If you can’t, then you must find a DUI lawyer who will take your case for a lower fee. The rule of thumb here is that you must only hire a DUI lawyer that you can afford.

Must be local

There are lawyers from other cities or states that may be more skilled than the one you’re eyeing. A local attorney, however, will be more familiar with the court that will hear your DUI case. He or she would likely know the judges and district attorneys, and those relationships could play a crucial role in your case, especially if your DUI lawyer enjoys a stellar reputation among them.

These are just some of the qualities that you must look for in a DUI lawyer. So go do your research, and leave no stone unturned in your effort to receive the best defense possible for your DUI case.

Kevin Crowley is an experienced DUI lawyer at Lane, Hupp & Crowley PLC, a team of criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona. He enjoys writing about law and helping his clients handle their legal needs.

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6 Responses to “What to Look for in a DUI Lawyer”

  1. Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for this advice for finding a DUI lawyer. I’m glad that you mentioned that the lawyer should be a great communicator. It sounds important to meet with them to be sure you can talk with them effectively.

  2. David Norriss says:

    I like the advice you gave about finding a lawyer that has a history of winning DUI cases and not just any type of case. People will quickly realize that not just any lawyer can be used for any case. A specialized attorney will do best in the field that they choose to specialize in. Thanks for the help on how to find a good DUI lawyer.

  3. Zoe Campos says:

    I definitely agree that we shouldn’t place our trust in a DWI/DUI lawyer who doesn’t show any hint of confidence at all. My brother had been accused of drunk driving but I know he won’t do it if the situation didn’t call for it. All I know is I have to hire a competent DWI attorney who could give me strength and peace of mind all throughout the case so I could clear the name of my brother.

  4. Shammy Peterson says:

    I like that you suggested hiring a lawyer that specializes in DUI and has years of experience handling this type of case to stand a better chance of avoiding a DUI conviction. My son was given a traffic ticket last night for driving while intoxicated. He mentioned that everything happened due to a medical emergency, so he needed to rush home after attending a birthday party. I will do all your tips so I could find him the best attorney.

  5. Dean Phillips says:

    Last Thursday, my brother who came over for lunch told me he was interested in hiring a dui lawyer right here in Washington. This comes after he himself got into a little bit of trouble with the authorities while driving after a night out. I offered to help him with the research and that’s how I stumbled on your incredible article here. I really liked where you mentioned that the rule of thumb here is that you must only hire a DUI lawyer that you can afford. You make a good point here, where I’m sure those like my brother will be happy to keep in mind. I’ll be sure my brother gets his hands on this later today!

  6. John Grey says:

    I definitely agree with you to find a lawyer that has a history of winning DUI cases and that specializes in DUI and has years of experience handling this type of case to stand a better chance of avoiding a DUI conviction. One of the important skills of a DUI of a lawyer is Confidence. If the lawyer has confidence percentage of the win is more.