brian sloan profile picture

A DUI Charge and Public Defender or a Private Attorney

Brian Sloan: Public defenders are attorneys. They graduated law school. Generally speaking, the public defender is either going to be the attorney who is verging on retirement and they decide to have a salary and just handle the clients that are given to them, or it’s going to be the brand new attorney out of law school who has no experience and wants to try to gain experience.

Unfortunately, a lot of this is going to be on the backs of their clients. They’re going to get their experience on the backs of their clients or they’re going to coast into retirement on the backs of their clients. Again, they do have legal backgrounds, but you’re getting usually the very new or in some ways, the tired people. Those are the public defenders.

In Maricopa County, you have the felony public defenders, which are salaried employees. They are basically going to get paid a certain salary to represent as many people as the office allows them to, and whether that person fights really hard or whether they are very lazy, whether they go to trial a lot or whether they don’t, whether they write lots of motions, whether they win, whether they lose, they get paid the same.

Are Public Defenders Held to a Lower Standard than a Private Attorney?

There tends to be a trend of laziness in the Public Defender’s Office because they can literally coast their entire career and just keep passing out plea agreements, and they’re going to get paid the same as the person that works really hard. Unfortunately, mediocrity is rewarded at the Public Defender’s Office.

Interviewer: I imagine that it’s probably a great deal more difficult to get a hold of them and it’s a lot less convenient. They’re a lot less flexible than a private attorney.

Brian Sloan: Absolutely. They are going to handle a high caseload. Usually they won’t give out their personal cell phone numbers. If you’re going to call because you have a question, you’re going to get an answering machine instead of a person and you may or may not get a call back. It’s a lot less service, as you might expect, from a governmental agency.

On a Flat Fee Basis, the Cities in Arizona Employ Private Attorneys as Public Defenders

Now, the cities have public defenders as well, and that is separate from the county public defender. The county is where they do a lot of felonies. The cities are where they do public defender contracts. So the cities do tend to have private attorneys on their public defender contract, but again, just kind of the way the system is set up, usually the people on the contract will get a certain amount of money to represent a client.

The Attorneys Are Compensated the Same Regardless if the Take the Case to Trial or Accept a Plea Bargain

There are some cities where the attorney is getting a hundred dollars to represent that client, and that hundred dollars is going to be yours whether you plea that person out or whether you read through the police report and talk to the person and write motions and argue motions and go to trial and fight a trial and try to win a case, either way, you’re getting the same fee.

Again, it is the nature of the beast, that many public defenders who are private attorneys but they are on this contract, get in the trend of, well, either way I’m going to get the hundred dollars, why am I going to put all this work into it? I’m just going to start pushing plea agreements.

The public defender, as a public defender, is not really going to provide the same level of service, for the most part, and generally speaking, as a private attorney. A public defender doesn’t necessarily care about that you think about them, where a private attorney wants referrals, they want testimonials, they want you to be happy and recommend them to your friends. They’re also getting paid to properly represent someone and make themselves available.

The Adage “You Get What You Pay For” Is True in the Area of DUI Defense

Interviewer: So it’s definitely, you get what you pay for situation?

Brian Sloan: Yes, that is true.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

city view

Call me today for an
‘In Depth’ Free Consultation

brian sloan profile picture
Brian Douglas Sloan


aerial view of arizona
Best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix

Why DUI Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


19+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,200+ DUIs Successfully Defended

Top Accolades

  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

  • Top 10 in Arizona

Top 1%

Top One Percent in the Nation

Superb 10/10

4.9 / 5.0


brian sloan on the cover of attorney at law magazine

“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career focused on Arizona DUI Defense representation, having personally defended over 4,200+ DUI clients in the past 19+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, I can comfortably say, "I’m not the one for you."

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive" or "will fight for you" are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because they think people want to hear them. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good and is often used to put on a show to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the lawyers claiming to do DUI Defense, Criminal Cases, Accident Cases, and Divorces. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none! By handling all sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up to date on the latest changes in Phoenix DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense at an exceptional price.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I produced DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of Arizona's most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers, recognized nationally, including in a 2022 issue of USA Today.

There are no other private DUI Defense Lawyers in Arizona that have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. And as a bonus, I offer a flat rate for my legal services without any hidden charges. This guarantees that I offer some of the most competitive rates among all Arizona DUI Attorneys, while being the preeminent leader in the field of DUI Defense Representation.

Over the years, countless people have come to me after discovering that their first lawyer made a mistake, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply took their money and didn't do much to advance their case. And you would be surprised at how often this happens.

So, instead of wasting time and money on the wrong DUI Defense Attorney, do yourself a favor and get the proven and documented best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Maricopa County.

You can reach me on my cell phone: 480-720-7839.

dui attorney brian sloan headshot

Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

Free Initial

small mail icon
Email address:
small location icon
2 N. Central Ave Suite 1929
Phoenix, AZ 85004
triangle pattern