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About me

     My name is Michael J. Zarrella and I have been a criminal defense and DUI defense attorney for 20 years in the State of Rhode Island.  I have been helping people with their legal issues for over 2 decades.  I engage in the legal practice of all aspects of criminal law from petty misdemeanors to capital cases such as rape, murder and robbery.  I have had numerous jury trial victories as well as a successful track record of getting cases dismissed or reduced to lesser charges. 

     Much of my criminal defense practice deals with drunk driving defense.  I am considered one of the foremost accomplished and experienced attorneys in DUI law in Rhode Island.  Many attorneys often turn to me for complex questions regarding DUI and Refusal cases.  I have a long and illustrious track record of getting DUI cases dismissed or reduced to lesser charges.

    If you hire me, I will fight endlessly to get you the best disposition possible.


Languages spoken: Spanish

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 60%
    21 years, 3.5 thousand cases
  2. DUI & DWI: 25%
    21 years, 400 cases
  3. Domestic Violence: 15%
    21 years, 500 cases



Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

16 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Thomas Charles Thomasian

    Attorney Zarrella is a fierce advocate for his clients and a force to be reckoned with at trial. I wholeheartedly endorse this lawyer to anyone looking for a highly competent criminal defense attorney who fights tirelessly for his clients.


    Thomas Thomasian Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Allison C. Abilheira

    I endorse this lawyer. Michael Zarrella is an excellent attorney, who has been zealously advocating for criminal defendants in Rhode Island for over twenty years. He has the knowledge and expertise to help clients win their cases. For these reasons, I am happy to say that I have had the opportunity to work with Mike and learn from him!


    Allison Abilheira Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


RIAuthorized to practice law199508/20/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
TOP 10 Attorney Award for the state of Rhode Island.National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDA)2015
top 25 DUI attorneys in Rhode IslandThe National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC (NAFDD)2015
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLaw Offices of Michael J. Zarrella1995 - Present
Rule 40 ProsecutorRhode Island Department Of Attorney General1993 - 1993
Legal InternRhode Island Department Of Attorney General1992 - 1992
Legislative AidRepresentative Jack Reed's Office1991 - 1991
Administrative assistantCity of Providence-Mayor Office1990 - 1990
Association namePosition nameDuration
Rhode Island Bar AssociationN/A1995 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersN/A1995 - Present
Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense LawyersN/A1994 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Not guily after trialNot Guilty after trial
Assault Case dismissedCase Dismissed
Not guily after jury trial, 2nd degree child molesation.Not Guilty after trial a jury trial
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogWinning a DUI case even with a failed breathtest2015
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogRhode Island Domestic Violence Update2015
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogUpdate on new Rhode Island DUI law.2015
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogThe Importance of Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer to Defend Your DUI2015
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogRhode Island DUI, Refusals and Ignition Interlock Devices2015
Rhode Island DWI and Criminal Defense BlogPreventing Convictions Under the Rhode Island Colin Foote Law2014
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Quinnipiac University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1994
Springfield CollegePolitical Science/History Double MajorBS - Bachelor of Science1990
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Justice with Judge JeanineWoodmansee and the good time2011
Woonsocket High SchoolLaw Day2008