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DUI / DWI Defense Attorneys

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DUI / DWI Defense Attorneys

Best DUI Defense Attorneys in the United States

Lawyer Legion Top Picks for 2024

The following list was determined using a number of factors including both objective and subjective criteria. Lawyers were selected based on their career accomplishments, high-profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certifications. Attorney profiles have information on the attorney's membership and leadership in legal organizations related to DUI defense, speaking engagements at quality CLE seminars, and participation in specialty certification programs for criminal law and/or DUI defense.

We use that information to rank attorneys based on the objective criteria that is most important to attorneys who defend people charged with drunk or impaired driving. This list includes many of the most highly accomplished criminal and DUI defense lawyers currently practicing in the United States.

When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • It is difficult to compare lawyers who practice in different states across the country.
  • It is impossible to accurately determine a national shortlist of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing DUI defense law but our list comes close.
David S Katz
Katz & Phillips, P.A.
Orlando, FL
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William C. Head
William C. Head, PC
Atlanta, GA
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Virginia Louise Landry
Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.
Laguna Hills, CA
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James Nesci
Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC
Tucson, AZ
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Bruce Edge
Edge Law Firm, P.C.
Tulsa, OK
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Jeremy Carl Brehmer
Brehmer Law Corporation
Bakersfield, CA
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J Gary Trichter
Trichter, LeGrand, Houlton & White
Houston, TX
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Justin James McShane
The McShane Firm
Harrisburg, PA
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Mimi Coffey
The Coffey Firm
Fort Worth, TX
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Leslie F Hulnick
Hulnick, Stang, Gering & Leavitt, P.A.
Wichita, KS
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Mark Ryan Thiessen
Thiessen Law Firm
Houston, TX
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More Noteworthy DUI / DWI Attorneys

DUI / DWI Legal Resources

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DUI / DWI Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) - The DUIDLA is a nonprofit organization providing training and resources to DUI defense lawyers practicing in the U.S. and Canada. Attorneys represent those accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and other traffic and intoxication-related offenses. The DUI Defense Lawyers Association also provides continuing legal education (CLE) seminars.
National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) is a non-profit, professional organization of attorneys focused on criminal defense who represent those accused of drunk driving, driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) and related charges. The NCDD was formed in 1995 and consists of some of the most knowledgeable and successful DUI defense attorneys in the United States.

Specialty Certifications in DUI / DWI

National College for DUI Defense
DUI Defense Law - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) is an organization that grants specialty or board certification for DUI Defense Law. The ABA has recognized the NCDD as an organization that is accredited to award certification in this specialty area of the law. The purpose of granting board certification in DUI Defense Law is to recognize DUI and DWI lawyers who focus their practice on representing men and women accused of drunk and impaired driving offenses. In order to qualify for board certification in "DUI Defense Law," the attorney must meet specific qualifications and apply for board certification with NCDD.

Criminal Justice Policy Reform Organizations

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) - Founded in 1980, the nonprofit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocates for stricter impaired driving policies. Headquartered in Irving, TX, MADD supports those affected by drunk driving incidents and works to prevent underage drinking. Among its initiatives, MADD organizes "victim impact panels," where victims and survivors share their stories about the consequences of drunk driving. MADD is committed to reducing alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities.

United States Government and Court Resources

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Transportation. It sets and enforces vehicular and equipment safety standards, conducts research on traffic safety, and leads public awareness campaigns. NHTSA also provides funding to state and local governments for traffic safety initiatives. The agency collects crash data to inform its decisions and oversees vehicle recalls addressing safety defects. Its primary mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce road traffic crashes.

Supreme Court of the United States

Supreme Court of the United States - The Judiciary Act of 1789, Article III of the Constitution allowed for the establishment of the Supreme Court. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court is the highest in the Nation. It has jurisdiction over all state and federal cases that involve a violation of Constitutional or Federal laws. The court has the power of judicial review and is the interpreter of the Constitution. Furthermore, the court consist of the Chief Justice of the United States and associate justices.

United States Courts

United States Courts - Article III of the Constitution helped create the United States Courts. Congress also created several legislative courts, such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Federal courts hear cases in which the United States is an interested party, bankruptcy cases, disputes between states, maritime law, and cases involving the violation of federal or constitutional laws. Additionally, the courts help decide what happened, what should be done about the situation, if a person committed the crime, and what punishment to give to the persons.

Overview of U.S. Criminal and DUI Laws

DUI and Drunk Driving Laws in the United States

It is illegal in every state to drive under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person's ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. While the laws vary from state to state, a person in any state is considered "per se" intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above .08, meaning that for every 10,000 parts of a person's blood, eight are alcohol. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of narcotics or other drugs.

States have different names for the charge of drunk driving, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVI).

Police have various methods of determining, at a traffic stop, whether a person might be intoxicated. These methods of detecting clues of impairment could include field sobriety tests, in which the suspect is instructed to perform tasks like walking in a straight line touching heel to toe, holding one foot off the ground or touching his finger to his nose. Other methods of determining impairment in a DUI case include requesting a breath tests, blood tests and urine tests. Although the person might refuse to submit to chemical testing, many states impose administrative consequences to the refusal including an automatically suspend of the driver's license.

DUIs are generally misdemeanors, but often carry serious consequences. For instance, many states require an ignition interlock device to be placed on the vehicle. The IID prevents the vehicle from starting or continuing to run without a breath test. Penalties and punishments can also include probation, fines and court costs, community service hours, DUI school, a drug or alcohol evaluation and follow up treatment, vehicle impoundment, and a court ordered driver's license suspension or revocation. Some states have certain lesser offenses if a driver's BAC is lower than .08, or have heightened penalties if it is significantly higher.

DUI defense lawyers are criminal defense attorneys who represent those accused of drunk driving. Issues for defense lawyers often include whether there was probable cause to conduct the traffic stop, continue the detention or make the arrest. The defense lawyer may also challenge the evidence, including testimony about field sobriety exercises, statements taken from the accused or the results of a breath, blood or urine test.

National Seminars for DUI Defense Attorneys

Each year different legal organizations have seminars devoted entirely to DUI and DWI defense. For instance, each year the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) host the Annual "DWI Means Defend With Ingenuity®" seminar.

This seminar is the biggest gathering of DUI Defense Lawyers in the country, featuring the most current content, and presented by an unmatched panel of speakers. Additionally, the state level affiliates of the NACDL also host a wide variety of DUI or DWI seminars throughout the year.

A newer organization, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (also known as DUIDLA), has also emerged as a major player in this field. Each year the DUIDLA sponsors both a Summer and Winter Seminar. Speakers include may of the top expert witnesses and DUI defense attorneys in the United States. 

For the top drunk driving defense attorneys in California, the California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA) provides quality seminars focused on DUI laws in California. CDLA also uses a membership directory that allows the public find a qualified DUI attorney throughout cities or counties in California.

Specialty Certification for DUI Defense Lawyers

The American Bar Association has accredited the National College for DUI Defense, Inc., to certify lawyers as board certified in DUI defense. Most of these board-certified DUI defense attorneys have passed both a written and oral examination testing their knowledge of substantive, procedural, scientific and evidentiary matters relating to DUI defense. Find a certified DUI defense lawyer.

Other Online Directories for DUI Defense Lawyers

  • NCDD "Find an Attorney" Directory - Visit the website of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc., to find a list of members. By joining the organization, each member has demonstrated a commitment to defend those accused of DUI and related crimes. Members are also required to attend a certain number of Continuing Legal Education Courses on DUI defense to remain in the organization. NCDD provides other important resources which can help any attorney improve their practice when representing those accused of drunk driving. Many of the top DUI defense attorneys in the United States belong to this trusted organization.

  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) - Visit the website of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association to find a list of members by state. This new non-profit organization incorporated in June of 2014 to promote excellence in aggressively defending those charged with DUI or DWI related crimes across the United States. DUIDLA provides training and education to its members who include many of the top DUI attorneys across the country. At last count, the organization had approximately 630 members. DUIDLA prides itself on transparency and intends to publish all financial aspects of the organization on the members-only section of its website.

  • California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA) - Visit the website of the California DUI Lawyers Association to find a list of its members organized by city or county in the State of California. Founded in 1989, this non-profit organization serves the needs of DUI defense attorneys. Use the directory to find attorneys in your area that are focused on this area of the law. Membership in CDLA is one important indicator that the attorney is focused on DUI defense in the State of California.

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