Criminal Defense

A highly experienced and versatile private criminal defense lawyer, Michael is a former prosecutor. Focusing on representing professionals, their businesses and families, Michael has handled an amazing range of matters, appearing formally as defense counsel in nearly every court in Southern and Central Arizona.

Drug Trafficking

Michael has handled many significant drug trafficking matters in United States District Courts in Phoenix, Tucson and El Paso, as well as Arizona State Superior Courts in Pima, Maricopa, Santa Cruz, Pinal and Yuma Counties. Michael has handled indictments charging federal criminal conspiracies (18 USC § 371), money laundering (18 USC § 1957), civil and criminal forfeitures ( 18 USC §§ 981 & 982 et. seq; ARS §13-4301 et. seq), use of weapons during the course of the crime(s) ( 18 USC § 924©) as well as the underlying allegations of trafficking in large quantities of marijuana, methamphetamine, and anabolic steroids; undercover sales of oxycodone and MDMA; and trafficking in cocaine and other illegal substances.

Violence & Mayhem

One of 30 or so private attorneys in Arizona placed the Federal Criminal Justice Act Capital Habeas Panel a decade ago, Michael has been involved in post-conviction representation of death row inmates. He has also handled in Superior Courts allegations of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, Facilitation of a Homocide, Negligent Homocide, Drive-by Shooting, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Armed Robbery, Bank Robbery, Arson, Felon in Possession of Explosives, Felony Flight, and numerous other significant felonies.

Here are some of Michael’s Notable Cases

White Collar, Financial & Identity Crimes

As one of his prime practice areas, Michael has handled a large array of white collar and financial crimes including: Bribery of Public Officiasl; FAA Criminal Violations for transporting hazardous materials aboard Aircraft ( 14 CFR § 13.23 & 49 USC § 1472); Federal Criminal Copyright Infringement (counterfeiting products) (18 USC § 2319); Evading Importation of Goods regulations ( 18 USC §§ 542 &545); False Statements to Government Officials ( 18 USC §1001); Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud & Bank Fraud; Federal Criminal Tax Fraud and Evasion; as well as Federal Criminal Conspiracies (18 USC 371) and Money Laundering (18 USC §1957) allegations. He has also handled numerous state allegations of financial fraud, identity theft, forgery, and provider prescription frauds.


Michael has handled numerous immigration criminal and deportation matters including allegations against employers of illegally hiring and maintaining illegal workers; the filing of false I-9 forms; conspiracies involving transportation of illegal aliens (involving bus lines); allegations of illegal reentries after deportations; terrorism as claims for political asylum and those arising under the UN Convention Against Torture.

DUI & Vehicular Offenses

As one of his prime practice areas Michael handles innumerable DUI and Vehicular matters, both felonies and misdemeanors around the southern and central parts of the State. As to felonies, has handled many Aggravated DUI ARS §28-1383cases involving allegations of recidivism, license suspensions and children in vehicles; accidents with significant injuries; additional charges including Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon ARS§13-1204; Endangerment and Criminal Damage. The felony DUI matters have included impairment by, in addition to alcohol, heroin and methamphetamine.

Misdemeanor DUI

Michael is recognized as one of the leading DUI lawyers in Southern Arizona. In Arizona, criminal DUI includes not only allegations impairment by alcohol, but by a variety of drugs: Michael has handled numerous DUI drug cases involving medical marijuana, illegal marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, Ambien (sleep driving), Adderall, and other valid prescription medications. These are charged as ARS §28-1381(a)(3).

MVD and Driver’s licenses

Michael has handled nearly every permutation of MVD driver’s license suspension complications including those for driver’s licensed in and residing in other states across the nation. In his view, AZ DOT MVD requires significant time and analysis in any Arizona DUI and command upwards of 20% of all time the client spends dealing with a DUI and up to 80% of the aggravation.

A brief list: Michael has handled many commercial driver’s license issues, numerous interlock suspension/restriction issues, many “refusal” one year suspension allegations; many revocations for felonies involving motor vehicles and recidivist DUI misdemeanors; suspensions for DUI drug convictions; suspensions for false ID charges, and hundreds and hundreds of implied consent 90 day suspensions.

Domestic Violence

Michael has handled numerous Domestic Violence matters involving allegations of assault, criminal damage, violations of orders of protection, strangulation, disorderly conduct and the like, appearing in both the Justice, Municipal and Superior Courts around the State.

Possessory Drug Offenses & Marijuana

Michael has also handled numerous cases for individuals accused of possessing end-user amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, as well as hundreds of marijuana cases. Many of the felony possessory cases in Arizona Superior Courts under law are resolved as “open offenses” resulting in misdemeanors. Many of the misdemeanors especially for marijuana a resolved through diversion or other programs.