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.
Federal Criminal Cases
- 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.
State Criminal Cases
- 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 Illinoi v. Avila – Domestic Battery.
- State of Illinois v. Glass – Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Elmusa v. Lake County Indiana Sheriff’s Department – Currently representing client in civil action against Lake County Sheriff for excessive force and false arrest.
- Lindsay v. Cyberpower Computers – Won a jury verdict for Breach of warranty.
- Statutory Summary Suspension Hearings: Limited Grounds, But Unlimited Uses – October 2014 – Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL
- Hot Air & Bodily Fluids: Breath, Blood, and Urine Testing – October 2014 – Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL
- How to Get and Keep Good Clients in a Competitive Market – April 2014 -Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL
- Recognizing a “Bad” Client – April 2014 – Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL