Certified Criminal Law Specialist
Craig Orent is an experienced, aggressive, passionate trial attorney who has been trying criminal cases for 25 years. He takes on any case where the government has accused someone of wrongdoing. He approaches every case with the same passion and dedication whether a minor traffic ticket or capital first degree murder. This derives from Craig's philosophy that each person should be represented in the same way that he or a family member would want to be represented if faced with similar accusations. He applies 100% of his energy to each and every case because it is his case, and he knows that he is representing a person.
Craig graduated from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island in 1984 with degrees in Administration of Justice and Political Science (magna cum laude). He was awarded top honors in Administration of Justice by the school faculty. He was also nominated by the faculty for placement in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (1984 ed.), and he was awarded top honors by and membership into the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
After following his family to the West Coast, Craig attended law school at the University of San Diego School of Law. He graduated in 1987 with various honors (American Jurisprudence Award, Civil Procedure; American Jurisprudence Award, Conflict of Laws).
Craig attended the highly acclaimed intensive and comprehensive two week trial colleges at the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), and the Public Defender Trial Academy, School of Advocacy, sponsored by the California Public Defenders Association. He has participated in many other trial and criminal law seminars and training programs.
Immediately after taking the California Bar Exam he began prosecuting criminal cases for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office as part of its trial intern program. Later he returned to his hometown in Massachusetts and worked as a trial attorney for a small firm handling all of its trial work in both civil and criminal cases in city, county, and federal courts. His first jury trial in Massachusetts was a DUI case which resulted in a not guilty verdict.
After many more trial successes and deciding that he wanted to be closer to his immediate family, Craig returned to California and for a short period worked on criminal cases with a few high profile criminal defense lawyers. He then became an Assistant Public Defender at the Riverside County Public Defender's Office where he successfully tried numerous misdemeanor and felony criminal cases.
Craig eventually made his way to Arizona where he worked as an Assistant Legal Defender at the Maricopa County Legal Defender's Office primarily handling and trying difficult and complex felony cases (Capital First Degree Murder, Rape, Robbery, etc.). During that time he handled many high profile cases and achieved favorable results and verdicts. Examples: State v. Dickinson et.al., capital first degree murder, not guilty jury verdict; State v. Jackson, sexual assault, kidnap, assault, not guilty jury verdict; State v. Lindsey, capital first degree murder, jury verdict - guilty of lesser offense of manslaughter; State v. Presti, attempted first degree murder, not guilty jury verdict.
Wanting to continue his development of expertise in criminal law, Craig then moved on to the Federal Public Defender's Office where he represented people charged with virtually every type of federal crime, including armed robberies, drug offenses, immigration offenses, homicides, assaults, theft and burglary offenses, sex offenses, firearms and explosives related offenses, DUI related offenses such as vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, wire fraud, mail theft, perjury/false statements, bribery, social security fraud, etc.
When procedurally possible and necessary to challenge an incorrect court ruling, outcome, or the constitutionality of a law or rule, Craig represented his clients on appeal and in special actions before the state and federal appellate courts. Examples: United States v. Strong, 489 F.3d 1055 (9th Cir. 2007) cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1188 (Feb. 19, 2008) (challenging constitutionality of federal law that requires courts to incarcerate defendants deemed mentally incompetent); Ryan v. Arellano ex rel. County of Maricopa, Court of Appeals No. 99-0011, 1999 WL 351079 (App. Div. 1 1999) (Review Denied and Ordered Depublished Mar 14, 2000, by the Arizona Supreme Court) (after jury acquittal first degree murder case, challenging government's attempt to retry defendant); In re Morgan, 506 F.3d 705 (9th Cir. 2007) (challenging federal judge's rejection of plea agreement in aggravated assault case).
Craig is now in private practice representing accused persons in State, City, and Federal courts statewide. He applies his expertise, skill, and experience in all criminal matters to effectively represent his clients and to achieve the best possible outcome. Though no attorney can or should guarantee results, Craig Orent guarantees that he will personally represent his clients, and that he will fiercely defend and advocate their best interests and constitutional rights through the entire legal process.
Areas of Practice
Criminal Law - State/City
Criminal Law - Federal
U.S. Federal Courts, 1988
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2001
University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
J.D. - 1987
Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Civil Procedure
Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Conflict of Laws
Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island
B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) - 1984
Honors: National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma
Honors: Awarded Top Honors in Administration of Justice by School Faculty Vote
Honors: Nominated by School Faculty for Placement in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (1984 ed.)
'The Victims' Bill of Rights- An Equal Protection Problem?', The Defender, Arizona Attorneys For Criminal Justice
'Beware Of Unknown Court Policies: What You Don't Know About Ex Parte Communications Between Judge and Jury Can Hurt You', The Defender, Arizona Attorneys For Criminal Justice
'The Sooner the Better: Jencks Material of Hearsay Declarants in Pretrial Hearings', The Liberty Legend, National Association of Federal Defenders
'The Victims' Bill of Rights- An Equal Protection Problem', The Defense, Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
'Beware Of Unknown Court Policies: What You Don't Know About Ex Parte Communications Between Judge and Jury Can Hurt You', The Defense, Maricopa County Public Defender's Office
'Federal Victims' Rights: Dormant No More?', National Seminar for Federal Defenders
'Stones in Our Pathways: Handling Capital Habeas Cases in the District of Arizona' 'Victims' Rights', CJA/FPD Seminar (Tucson)
'An Ethics Roundtable Discussion', CJA/FPD Seminar
'Issues in Victims Rights: Challenges to Victims' Rights Laws', Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice Annual Meeting
Victim's Rights & The Defense, Annual Capital Defense Seminar
'Stones in Our Pathways: Handling Capital Habeas Cases in the District of Arizona' 'Victims' Rights', CJA/FPD Seminar (Phoenix)
Honors and Awards
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell.
Avvo, the national lawyer rating service, rates Attorney Orent a 10.0/10.0 for ?superb.?
American Jurisprudence Award (AmJur) - Civil Procedure, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing (Thomson Corporation), 1986
American Jurisprudence Award (AmJur) - Conflict of Laws, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing (Thomson Corporation), 1986
National Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma, 1985
Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Randall Reilly Publishing, 1984
Model United Nations Security Council at Duquesne University Roger Williams College Faculty, 1983
Professional Associations and Memberships
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1991 - Present
Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Former Board of Director
National College for DUI Defense