Michael Harwin


Michael Harwin graduated summa cum laude from University of Arizona College of Law in May 1993. Ranked in the top 6% of his class, Michael served on the editorial board of the Arizona Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

His publication “Detaining for Danger Under the Bail Reform Act of 1984: Paradoxes of Procedure and Proof”35 Ariz. L.Rev. 4 (Winter 1993) ( winner of the Snell and Wilmer Award for Best Note Published in the Arizona Law Review 1993-94) continues to be cited, despite its age, as an authority on and criticism of certain federal pretrial detention practices. See e.g. Stigall, Dan F. Counterterrorism and the Comparative Law of Investigative Detention, Cambria Press (2009) at 235; Hashimoto, Erica “Resurrecting Autonomy: the Criminal Defendant’s Right to Control the Case”, 90 B.U.L. Rev. 1147 (June 2010); Karnow, Curtis, “Setting Bail for Public Safety”  13 Berkley Journal of Crim. Law 1 (2008).

A former prosecutor with extensive trial experience, Michael is listed in Best Lawyers in America®, 21st ed. for Criminal Defense: White Collar (2015); rated “A-V 5/5 Preeminent”® by Martindale Hubbell (2008-15); listed in Arizona Superlawyers ® 2012-2013 (as a “Top Lawyer in Arizona”) for DUI Defense; named one of “the Best Lawyers in Tucson” by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine (May 2011) for criminal defense: white collar; named by BestofUS.com one of the “Best Lawyers in the United States” (2008-15) for criminal defense & Immigration Law; rated by AVVO “10/10 Superb” 2010-15 primarily for his work as a Tucson DUI Lawyer; listed in National Trial Lawyers Top 100 (2013); and awarded a Fellowship by the Litigation Counsel of America [LCA] primarily for his work as a noted trial and appellate attorney. He is the recipient of numerous other awards and honors. Click here to download Michael’s resume.

A recognized speaker and author, Michael recently authored  several book  chapters for Thomsen Reuters including those appearing in  Defense Strategies for Drug Crimes, 2016 ed.: Leading Lawyers On Interpreting Today’s Drug Cases.  Developing a Thorough Defense, And Protecting A Clients Rights (Thomsen Reuters /Aspatore Imprint) [Chapter IV];  The Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases, 2015 ed.: (Thomsen Reuters/Aspatore)[Chapter III]Trends in DUI Discovery, 2014, ed.: Leading Lawyers on Developing Effective and Innovative Discovery Practices (Aspatore Books/ Thomson Reuters)[Chapter III].  He is regularly both asked to speak at attorney continuing legal education seminars and consulted by other attorneys in the area of professional and collateral consequences of criminal charges and convictions, particularly for licensed professionals and non-citizens.  His recent speaking engagements include:  “Collateral Consequences of Common Crimes: Representing Professionals” presented at the Arizona Public Defender’s Association Annual Conference, Tempe, Arizona (June 22-23, 2016);  “Set Traps and Hidden Triggers: Prohibited Possessors, Domestic Violence and other Matters” presented at the Arizona Public Defender’s Association Annual Conference, Tempe, Arizona (June 22-23, 2016);  “Collateral Consequences of Common Crimes: DUI and Vehicular Offenses” presented at the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice 29th Annual DUI Conference (May 2-3, 2016); “Former ER 1.3 Duty of ‘Zeal’” presented at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (March 25th, 2016);  “Ethical Issues in Immigration Representation” presented at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (December 3, 2015);  “Collateral Consequences of Common Crimes: DUI and Vehicular Offenses” presented at the  Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice 28th Annual DUI Conference (April 30-May 1, 2015).

Michael focuses his practice on representing Licensed Health Care Professionals (M.D.’s; R.N.’s; N.P’s; D.D.S’s; medical school residents and fellows)(including particularly those with licenses to prescribe Schedule II & III substances);  Law Enforcement, Military and National Security Clearance Holders (particularly United States Border Patrol Agents; Defense Industry Engineers at Raytheon; and active duty enlisted and officers stationed at Davis Monthon and Ft. Huachuca) ; University and Graduate Students (including law and medical students; pharmacy undergraduate and graduate students); Educational Professionals (particularly University Professors and certified teachers and administrators), Arizona D.P.S. Level I & II Fingerprint Clearance Holders; non-citizens holding H1B visas or permanent resident alien cards; and others in or entering regulated professions for whom government investigations, DUI or other criminal charges may impact careers, licensing, and employment.

Court Appearances

Admitted to practice in Arizona, Colorado (inactive); and before the 5th and 9th Circuits of the United States Court of Appeals, Michael has appeared formally before:

United States District Court (Phoenix; Tucson; El Paso); United States Court of Appeals (San Fransico & New Orleans); Graham County Superior Court; Cochise County Superior Court; Santa Cruz County Superior Court; Pima County Superior Court; Pinal County Superior Court; Maricopa County Superior Court; and geographically (southeast to northwest): Douglas Municipal Court; Safford J.P. Court; Wilcox J.P. Court; Sierra Vista J.P. Court; Sierra Vista Municipal Court; Sonoita J.P. Court; Benson Municipal Court; Nogales J.P. Court; Nogales City Court; Ajo J.P. Court; Green Valley J.P. Court; Sahuarita Municipal Court; South Tucson Municipal Court; Tucson City Court; Pima County Consolidated J.P. Courts (Tucson); Ajo Justice Court; Oro Valley Municipal Court; Marana Municipal Court; Eloy J.P. Court; Casa Grande J.P. Court; Oracle J.P. Court; Mesa City Court; East Mesa Justice Court (Judge Lester Pearce); Chandler City Court; Gilbert Municipal Court; Tempe City Court; Phoenix City Court; Phoenix J.P. Courts (downtown, Glendale and westside); Avondale Municipal Court; Buckeye Municipal Court; Surprise Municipal Court; Ironwood Justice Court (Gila Bend); Hassayampa Justice Court; Wickenburg J.P. Court; Quartzite Justice Court; Lake Havasu Justice Court.

Administrative and Professional Licensing

Michael has also formerly appeared on behalf of clients before  Arizona Board of Medical Examiners; Arizona State Nursing Board; Arizona State Board of Pharmacy; Arizona Board of Naturopathy and Massage; Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (CPS findings appeal) Arizona Board of Realtors; City of Phoenix Business Licensing Board; United States Border Patrol;  United States Immigration Courts (EOIR Eloy, Florence, Tucson Phoenix, Las Vegas & San Fransisco). He is also a member of the bar of United States Tax Court.

School Disciplinary Appearances

Michael has handled numerous school expulsion and suspension matters for students brought before disciplinary commissions at Tucson Unified School District; Flowing Wells School District; Amphi School District (Ironwood Ridge, Canyon del Oro & Amphi High Schools; University of Arizona Office of the Dean of Students for Student Affairs.

Federal Agency Practice

Michael has handled criminal investigations and litigation involving following federal agencies/divisions:  HUD Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG); FDA (CFSAN), Washington, D.C.; IRS (Criminal Investigation Division & D.O.J. tax division); IRS Civil Division, Phoenix; United States Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section (AFMLS, Washington, D.C,); ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Sierra Vista, Tucson; CBP (United States Customs and Border Protection; FAA (Federal Aviation Administration); DEA (medical diversion matters);United States Secret Service (persons of interest as threats to the President of the United States).

Matters Receiving National Media Attention

State v. Perry, CR-20122018 (Pima County Superior Court, Division 25) (NCAA athlete charged with felony domestic violence)(Associated Press; USA Today; ESPN; ABC News; Fox News; Huffington Post; Sporting News); Hurles v. Ryan, 08-99032 (9th Cir. 7/11/11) (holding due process violation where trial judge improperly participated in proceedings, vacating death penalty (Wall St. Journal, ABC News, Associated Press, Reuters, Atlanta Journal Constitution); United States vs. Chan et. al. Case No. 06-00054-TUC-CKJ[ U.S. Dist. Court] (CNN) [reported as $82 million dollars in counterfeit Nike athletic shoes smuggled into the United States from China]; United States v. Ramon de Harvey, Case No. 04-03323M-TUC-JCC [U.S. Dist. Court] (Fox News/The O’Rielly Factor) [federal alien smuggling indictment]; United States v. Shipley, et al., Case No. CR 02-1618-TUC-DCB-CRP [U.S. Dist. Court] (CNN) [matter involving outbreak of Salmonella linked to produce]; United States v. Livdahl, et al. No. 05-M-7609 , [U.S. Dist. Court] [physicians indicted for marketing misbranded Botox]; United States v. Golden State Bus Lines, et al., Case No. ________ (U.S. Dist. Court) (alien smuggling conspiracy); United States v. Jun Yang, Case no. 15-01162-CKJ-CRP, United States District Court, D.Ariz. (Reuters) [Importation violation]; Kelava v. Gonzales, 9th Cir. Case No. 03-73689 (Associated Press) [reported as terrorism matter];United States v. Brooks, Case No. CR-99-721 (U.S. Dist. Court) (Wall Street Journal) (alien smuggling conspiracy); State v. Guarriello, Case No. CR 2002-1640 (Pima County Superior Court) (Corrections Officer indicted for homicide); State v. Jesse Perry, Case no. CR-20122018-001 Pima County Superior Court (ESPN); United States v. Nassar Al Haribi, et al., case No. CR02-00880-TUC-CKJ (GEE) (U.S. Dist. Court) (New York Times) [wire fraud].

Panel Work

Michael has served on the Pima County Indigent Services Homicide Panel and the Federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel for felony trials, appeals, and capital habeas matters.