Craig Rosenstein

Founder | Owner | DUI Law Specialist

AZ Defenders founder Craig Rosenstein is well respected in the legal community as an aggressive and effective Phoenix criminal attorney. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Arizona, New Mexico as well as well as in the U.S. Federal District Court in Arizona. Craig is one of the only three Board Certified DUI Law Specialists in Maricopa County and one of the only five in the state of Arizona. Craig attended the University of Arizona for his undergraduate degree and then Craig graduated ASU college of law in 2006 and has been managing his own criminal law firm since late 2006.

Craig is beyond brilliant in his knowledge and expertise in regard to Arizona law.

Craig is a well-respected criminal defense trial attorney, he is known in the legal community as an aggressive and skilled trial attorney, which has earned him notoriety on prominent cases, but he takes the most pride in the fact that when Judges, Officers, and Prosecutors find themselves, their families, or friends in need of a criminal attorney, he is very often the one with whom they seek assistance. He has been the lead counsel in over a hundred jury trials taken to verdict.

Craig is a decades long Board member on the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) and was elected President in 2018. He is a board member for the Arizona Justice (Innocence) Project, is a founding member of the American Council of 2nd Amendment Lawyers and is a member of numerous other criminal defense attorney organizations. He has helped form, is an active Legislative Committee member, and chairs the PAC Committee. He works tirelessly to push forward the agenda of improving the criminal justice system in Arizona. Most recently, he consulted on the Safer Arizona (Marijuana De-Criminalization ballot initiative 2020) to assist in creating sound public policy regarding impaired driving infractions from marijuana and to help ensure the rights of the accused. Craig’s efforts also include drafting legislation that has been sponsored by State legislators that seeks to reform criminal justice in Arizona. His office was single-handedly responsible for drafting a bill. It was instrumental in shepherding that bill through the Legislature and eventually got it signed by the Governor and passed into law.

Craig is a leader in the criminal defense legal community here in Arizona, he is both an advocate and a teacher. As an advocate, he aggressively represents his clients in Court, before Boards, and in administrative arenas and with high levels of competency. Craig takes the time to be the most informed in any room in which he represents his clients. He has been for years and continues to dedicate himself to the mission of assisting not just the accused but other attorneys trying to help the accused. He speaks at Local, State, and National criminal defense seminars primarily on the subject of Trial Advocacy, having taken over 150 cases to jury verdict. He takes great pride in assisting other attorneys by sharing his knowledge on the cutting-edge science and technology used by the government in criminal investigations.

Most recently, he was awarded the DUI Defense Lifetime achievement award from AACJ (Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice) and the 2023 Leadership Award from the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). Along with being included in The Best Lawyers in America® list for his work in DUI/DWI Defense and Criminal Defense for the 5th year running, he has been named a Superlawyer every year since 2012 and selected by peers to named as a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in Phoenix.

However, he most takes pride in effectively applying his philosophy of helping his clients above all else. People who live, eat, and breathe the criminal justice system often forget how scary it can be for those going through the process. That is why every client of the AZ Defenders can expect to get the white glove treatment. This entails a thorough explanation of court appearances and their purpose, as opposed to just being told where to go and when. Craig firmly believes that the best issues within someone’s criminal case present themselves when you spend the time to not only get to know your clients but explain the proceedings to them.

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certification in DUI Defense from the National College for DUI Defense
  • Field Sobriety Test (FST) Certified
  • Intoxilyzer 8000 Certified
  • Certified in Forensic Blood and Urine

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Arizona, 2006
  • S. District Court, District of Arizona, 2006
  • State Bar of New Mexico, 2020

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • State Bar of New Mexico, Member
  • National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), Member
    • Board Certified in DUI defense since July, 2013
  • Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ), Member
    • Elected President in 2018
    • Elected Board Member since 2014
  • DUI Defense Lawyer Association (DUIDLA), Founding Member
  • Arizona Justice (Innocence) Project
    • Board Member 2018
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Member
  • National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Legal Committee
  • American Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Member

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America, DUI/DWI Defense, Criminal Defense: General Practice and Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2019 – 2024
  • Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI, 2012 – 2023
  • AACJ DUI Defense Lifetime Achievement Award, 2023
  • National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) Leadership Award, 2023
  • Phoenix Magazine: Top Criminal Defense Lawyer, 2022 & 2023
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating: Highest Level of Professional Excellence, 2019 – Present
  • The Most Influential Phoenicans, 2019
  • Top 40 Under 40, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2014 & 2019
  • Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Presidential Commendation, 2016
  • Certificate of Completion, Harvard Law School Summer Session, 2010, 2013, 2017 & 2019
  • National College for DUI Defense, Board Certified DUI Lawyer, 2013 – Present

Best Lawyers Award Badge

BL Rosenstein 2023