Best Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers?

We help connect consumers with top-rated criminal defense attorneys in the Chicago area. To determine which are the best of the best, we scored each criminal defense attorney or law firm across a half-dozen metrics covering three categories. Each firm or attorney’s results were analyzed to bring you a handpicked list of the very best criminal defense lawyers in Chicago, many of whom also serve clients in other parts of Illinois.

  • Attorneys reviewed: 20
  • Top picks: 5

If you or a loved one have been arrested in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, do not delay seeking the assistance of an attorney. The sooner an attorney can get involved in your case, the better your chances of having a strong defense.

The attorney you hire may start right away, studying Chicago authorities’ case against you, conducting legal research, and preparing legal motions. That’s why the sooner they begin, the better, as they work to chip away at the prosecution’s evidence.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Chicago can handle everything from DUIs to misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies. Get the best legal defense in Chicago by choosing from this list of best criminal defense attorneys.

Read the profiles below and choose the attorney or law firm that best aligns with your needs.

Best Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers

Here are the best criminal defense law firms and attorneys in Chicago:

  1. The Law Office of Purav Bhatt
  2. Robert J. Callahan & Associates
  3. Luisi Legal Group
  4. Pissetzky Law LLC
  5. Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg

Best Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

If you or a loved one are looking for an outstanding criminal defense attorney in Chicago, these lawyers are the best of the best.

The Law Office of Purav Bhatt

1655 S Blue Island #312,

Chicago, IL 60608

Phone: (773) 791-9682

Purav Bhatt is a former prosecuting attorney, and that experience makes him particularly skilled at mounting a successful criminal defense. His primary practice areas include defending clients against allegations of burglary, DUI, robbery, weapons possession, and more.

Bhatt’s work on behalf of clients has been recognized by Avvo (10.0 rating), Super Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Association of Trial Lawyers.

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Robert J. Callahan & Associates

2500 South Drake Avenue

Chicago IL 60623-3947

Phone: (312) 796-8330

Founded by attorney Robert J. Callahan nearly 25 years ago, Robert J. Callahan & Associates has grown to include three attorneys. Today, the firm’s primary criminal defense focus is on those accused of DUI, DWI, and narcotics offenses.

Notable recent victories include securing a not-guilty verdict for a man who claimed self-defense in a murder trial that could have sent him to prison for life as well as dismissals of major drug-related cases.

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Luisi Legal Group

1231 N. Ashland Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622

Phone: (773) 276-5541

Since 2000, Luisi Legal Group, started by founding partner Vincent A. Luisi Jr., has specialized in criminal defense. Specialty areas for this five-attorney firm include DUI, drug crimes, theft, vehicular violations, and violent crimes.

Luisi attorneys handle major and minor cases in federal and state court, including in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Luisi has a 9.4 rating on Avvo, and he’s repeatedly been called on to provide his legal expertise by Chicago reporters.

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Pissetzky Law LLC

35 E. Wacker Dr.

Suite 1980, Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: (312) 883-9466

This three-person law firm may be on the smaller side, but it handles major cases in state and federal court, including those involving large-scale drug allegations, white-collar crimes, and violent offenses.

Attorneys at the firm have more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense, and they’ve been honored by Super Lawyers, Avvo, and the American Institute of Trial Lawyers. In addition to criminal defense, practice areas include contract dispute and personal injury.

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Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg

444 N Michigan Ave Suite 1200

Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (773) 908-9811

Attorney Andrew M. Weisberg has been practicing criminal law in Illinois since 1996, and because he started out his career as a prosecutor, he has a unique perspective on criminal defense.

His major practice areas include violent crimes, criminal trespass, drug crimes, disorderly conduct, fraud, DUI, and more. Weisberg also handles federal cases as well as representing clients in parole hearings.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in Chicago?

Like elsewhere in the United States, property crime is far more common in Chicago than any other type of crime. In 2019, the most recent year for federal data on crime across the U.S., about 81,000 violent crimes were reported in Chicago, which equates to a rate of about 3,000 per 100,000 residents. While that’s not the highest rate of any city in the country, it is higher than many other large cities, including Los Angeles and New York.

It’s also quite a bit higher than the overall national property crime rate of about 2,100 per 100,000 people. Chicago does have one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates, about 943 per 100,000 people, exceeding the rate of all but one city with a population in excess of a million (Memphis has a higher violent crime rate, 1,120 per 100,000).

Crimes in Chicago, by number and per 100,000 people



Per 100,000 people

All violent crimes












Aggravated assault



All property crimes









Motor vehicle theft






Compared to other major cities in Illinois, Chicago tends to have higher crime rates, though it ranks first for only crime rate, that of robbery. Chicago’s population-adjusted murder rate, for example, is four points behind that of Peoria. However, with 492 murders in 2019, Chicago had more homicides than every other Illinois city combined.

Like many other cities, Chicago has seen incidents and rates of many crimes rise over the course of the pandemic. The number of murders in Chicago rose by more than half the number in 2019 with 774 murders reported in the city in 2020. While 2021 has seen something of a break in violent crime, levels still are elevated over their pre-pandemic rates, with 2021 homicides rising by about one-third over comparable 2019 murders.

It’s important to note that police- and FBI-reported data does not cover closed cases or incidents for which a person was convicted.