Craig Orent is an experienced, aggressive, passionate trial attorney who has been trying criminal cases for 28 years and is the founder of Orent Law Offices. 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 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, and gained invaluable experience from, 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 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.
Craig is one of only a few criminal defense attorneys in the state of Arizona to be invited into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, “an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state in the nation who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile.”