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Criminal Defense
Attorney Sami Azhari


30 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 2140
Chicago, IL 60602


3601 Algonquin Road
Suite 716
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney Sami Azhari

Sami Azhari focuses his practice on criminal defense in state and federal courts. His primary areas of practice include felonies such as drug possession, drug trafficking, assault and battery, weapons charges, and white collar crime, as well as misdemeanors and traffic violations. He has litigated numerous cases in state and federal courts, and has actively participated in all aspects of the litigation and trial process, including taking and defending depositions of lay and expert witnesses, conducting fact and expert discovery, briefing and arguing substantive motions, and conducting bench and jury trials with first chair experience. His first chair jury trial experience allowed him the opportunity to perform jury selection, conduct opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations of lay and expert witnesses as well as closing arguments.

As a criminal defense attorney, he has handled numerous types of misdemeanors and felonies and appeared regularly in all Cook County courts as well as surrounding counties such as DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. His experience has given him the ability to analyze all the evidence and determine the best course of action. He has been successful in having evidence suppressed, negotiating lesser charges, and getting alternative sentencing. Sami currently serves as a court appointed bar attorney through the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. He also volunteers to represent indigent defendants in Statutory Summary Suspension hearings in Chicago.

In a recent felony jury trial while defending a client on obstruction of justice charges, Sami noticed the jury instructions did not reflect the new case law. So Sami drafted and submitted a pattern jury instructions to the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Instructions in Criminal Cases.

In recent cases, Sami Azhari represented clients faced with charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery against a police officer, and drug trafficking 67 pounds of narcotics from out of state.



Despite the seriousness of the charges his clients face, Sami is always prepared. Recently, Sami defended five jury trials in a span of eight weeks.He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 2004, specializing in digital signal processing and field and wave electromagnetics. He earned his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law with a concentration in Intellectual Property and Communications Law. While at Michigan State, he was a Trial Advocate on the Moot Court and Advocacy Board. As a part of his experience, he argued in 10 mock jury trials in state courts in New York, Indiana, and Ohio.

Daily News
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
CBS 2 Chicago
FOX 32
Chicago Tribune


School nameDegreeGraduatedHonors
Purdue UniversityB.S.2004Deans List; Semester Honors
Michigan State University College of LawJ.D.2007Certificate in Intellectual Property Law;
Moot Court and Advocacy Board


Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2014-2016
Top 40 under 40National Trial Lawyers Association2014-2016
Illinois Rising StarSuperLawyers2015-2016
Certificate of AppreciationNorthwest Suburban Bar Association2012


Northwest Suburban Bar AssociationMember2011 – Present
Chicago Bar AssociationNational2015
NWSBA In Court Bar ProgramAttorney Member2015
McHenry County Bar AssociationMember2008 – 2010
Illinois State Bar AssociationMember2007 – 2009

Bar Certifications

State Bar of Illinois
State Bar of California
Northern District of Illinois
Central District of California
Northern District of California
Southern District of California
Southern District of California
Southern District of California
Illinois Federal Trial Bar
U.S. Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit

Speaking Engagements

Starting Points: DUI DefenseHot Air & Bodily Fluids: Breath, Blood, and Urine Testing2014
Practical Professionalism: Criminal LawRecognizing a “Bad” Client2014
Practical Professionalism: Criminal LawHow to Get and Keep Good Clients in a Competitive Market2014
Chicago Bar AssociationExpungements and Sealings2014
Northwest Suburban Bar AssociationTraffic Court: Do I Need a Lawyer?2014
Starting Points: DUI DefenseStatutory Summary Suspension Hearings:
Limited Grounds, but Unlimited Uses

Notable Representations

United States of America v. Chychula – Nine counts of wire fraud.
United States of America v. Estrada – Bank Fraud.
United States of America v. Amaya – RICO and distribution of narcotics.
United States of America v. Shannon – Sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.
United States of America v. Stennis – Bank Robbery.
State of Illinois v. Serritella – First Degree Murder
State of Illinois v. Nolan – 9 counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and unlawful use of a weapon
State of Illinois v. Perez – Armed Robbery, unlawful use of a weapon, kidnapping and unlawful restraint.
State of Illinois v. Rodgers – 3 counts of unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.
State of Illinois v. Montenegro – Aggravated battery against a child (Class X Felony).
State of Illinois v. Salsman – Two counts of aggravated battery against a police officer.
State of Illinois v. Lester – Attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.
State of Illinois v. Hood – Battery against 5 year old autistic child.
State of Illinois v. Litwin – Drug trafficking 67 pounds of narcotics.
State of Illinois v. Chavez – Obstruction of justice.
State of Illinois v. Pernice – Driving under the influence of alcohol.
City of Mundelein v. Walker – Driving under the influence of alcohol.
State of Illinois v. Meshil – Felony retail theft.
State of Illinois v. Keelan – Driving under the influence of alcohol.
State of Illinois v. Avila – Domestic Battery.
State of Illinois v. Glass – Driving under the influence of alcohol.