Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney MICHAEL TERRIBILE, P.C.

Michael Terribile is licensed attorney whose sole focus is on the defense of criminal cases. He has practiced criminal law in the state of Arizona and in courts throughout the country since 1981. Mr. Terribile has represented clients through all stages of the criminal justice process. His trial experience ranges from misdemeanors to death penalty cases. He is a fearless and passionate advocate and is committed to insuring that his clients receive the best defense available. Michael Terribile is the attorney that you want by your side, especially when you believe that the system is stacked against you.

Admitted to the following courts:

  • Arizona Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth District
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Pro Hac Vice to Federal Courts in Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and to State Court in Michigan


State University of New York at Oneonta, B.S., 1972 Pace University, J.D., 1980

Reported Cases

State v. Ramirez, 190 Ariz. 65, 945 P.2d 376, 1997 Mejak v. Granville, 212 Ariz. 555, 136 P.3d 874, 2006 Barrs v. Wilkinson, in and for County of Maricopa, 186 Ariz. 514, 924 P.2d 1033, 1996

Other Decisions

Sta te v. James C. Fisher, 76 Ariz. 65, 945 P.2d 376  (Improper Condition Attached to Plea Agreement) State v. David Patrick Ramirez, 190 Ariz.65, 945 P.2d 376 (Definition of Premeditation)

Recognition and Awards

Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

Peer Review Rating: AV® Preeminent™

5.0 out of 5    Five Stars

AV® Peer Review Rated Listed in the 2018 Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers Selected as one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers in 2010 based on his “demonstrated record of high achievement, excellent legal skills and well-earned reputation for integrity.”

An AV® certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. A lawyer must be admitted to the bar for 10 years or more to receive an AV rating.

National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s Nation’s Top 1% Attorneys

The National Association of Distinguished Counsel is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. The mission of the NADC is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. By virtue of the incredible selectivity of our research process, only the elite few are invited to join the ranks of the NADC. Specifically, less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States are members of the “Nation’s Top Attorneys”. The recipients of this prestigious award have demonstrated the highest ideals of the legal profession.

Super Lawyer’s Designation

(2008; 2009; 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019)

The Super Lawyer’s designation is awarded by Law & Politics for the top lawyers in Arizona and New Mexico. Nominations are made by peers, followed by a 12-criteria evaluation of each candidate. Only 5 percent of the total lawyers in a state or region are named to the Super Lawyer’s list.

John J. Flynn Lifetime Achievement Award  (2014)  

Presented to Michael for his “legendary work” on Arizona vs Martinson, one of his many accomplishments in his life-long dedication to justice.  Jeffrey Martinson was accused of murder and was incarcerated for 9 years before Michael and co-counsel Treasure Van Dreumel successfully won a dismissal  when the court found that prosecutors had engaged in misconduct and acts of bad faith.    Click to read court ruling.

Vanguard Leadership Award (2013)

Vanguard Leadership Award presented by Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice in recognition of Michael’s integrity, his commitment to the ideals of justice and the right to indigent defense, and in recognition of his efforts to ensure effective quality control measures exist for indigent defense representation in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Tom Karas Indigent Defense Award (2007)    

Presented by the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice “in recognition of his courage as he faces the wrath of judges, his inspiration to others to stand strong against political pressure and in thanks for his achievements for all indigent defendants.”

President’s Commendation (2000)

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice awarded Michael this commendation citing that he “has spent his entire professional life battling evil, fighting for his clients, and pushing us forward. Again and again, he willingly absorbs the blows unfairly struck by those who would demonize us and our clients. He is joyous in the attack and utterly fearless in the defense. In 1999, at great personal cost, Mike exposed clearly inappropriate conduct in the courthouse and led the attack on constitutionally inappropriate conduct in the selection of court-appointed counsel.” Michael was recognized for his “unrestrained enthusiasm and his great courage.”


State Bar of Arizona (former member, Criminal Law Advisory Committee)
National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Mexican Capital Legal Defense Program, Program Attorney*
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (former board member)

*The Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Project, (MCLAP) is a team of experienced capital attorneys in the United States mandated to provide comprehensive assistance in the defense of any Mexican National facing the death penalty.