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About me

I listened to a talk radio personality recently say that he wonders how criminal defense attorneys live with themselves and are happy.  "Most the people they represent are guilty and how could they (defense attorneys) feel good about representing such scum?" 

Below is my response to that question:  

My career as a criminal defense attorney happened somewhat by accident.  I was a prosecutor for 8 years and believed most of those years that I would prosecute for the rest of my life.  I loved being a prosecutor and I was good at it.  I received meaningful awards, unsolicited letters of support and praise from victims of crime.  I felt that it was my calling in life- until I left to enter private practice to try and make a better living for my family and me.  

I have made a better living in private practice but that’s not why I love being a criminal defense attorney and strongly feel that God has placed this particular call in my path to learn, grow and bless others to do the same in a very meaningful way. 

What I lacked, however, as a prosecutor was a personification of the Defendant.  I definitely had the victims’ interests but the Defendant was a person who I read about what he or she did in a police report.  I didn’t read about who they were.  It’s very different.  The comment that “these people [in the criminal justice system] are scum” is very much an objectification, rather than a personification, of the individual- and for the most part is inaccurate.   None of my clients believe that they are scum.  In fact many people who have felt that way change their tune real quickly when they come to me to represent them, their sons or daughters or grandchildren for serious mistakes, misjudgments, bad decisions that have led them to my office. 

Are some people un-deserving of advocacy?  Perhaps that’s not for us to judge.  

I do, however, screen and assess every potential new client who comes in or contacts me.  And I make a determination of whether or not that person is someone whom I can help.

It is the main job of a criminal defense attorney to be an advocate for the Defendant and that often means personifying the Defendant to a prosecutor. 

I am fortunate to know how to negotiate and litigate through a very stressful system that is foreign to most people living in our country.  That knowledge and skill provides for my family and I am proud of it.  I strongly believe in the constitutional principles.   I have seen these principles in action when juries have returned "not guilty" verdicts for my clients

As for the cases that don’t go all of the way to a jury, they are generally a negotiated resolution where prosecutors and defense attorneys wrestle (figuratively) between justice and mercy, strengths and weaknesses of a case. 

So that’s the long answer to the question.  The short answer is:  I sleep well.  I am happy.  I wake up refreshed and excited to face a new day. 

I hope I have enlightened anyone who wonders at least how this criminal defense attorney lives with himself. 


Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 50%
  2. DUI & DWI: 50%



Fixed (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

14 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Glenn A Allen

    I have known Mark for almost my entire career and have always admired his skills and work ethic. He's a great attorney that goes the extra mile for all of his clients.


    Glenn Allen Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Michael Cole Larsen

    Mark is an an excellent attorney. He is very well respected and liked by judges, prosecutors and his peers. He has extensive criminal law experience both as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. If you select Mark as your attorney, you are in very good hands.


    Michael Larsen Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

The Law Office of Mark J. Andersen, PLC

505 W. Ray Road, Suite 2
Chandler, AZ, 85225


AZActive 199707/14/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Prosecutor of the YearPinal County Attorney's Office2004
2004 Vertical Prosecutor of the YearArizona Auto Theft Authority2004
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerDavis Miles, PLLC2013 - Present
AttorneyLaw Offices of Mark J. Andersen P.L.C.2006 - 2013
Deputy Prosecuting AttorneyPinal County Attorney's Office2003 - 2006
Deputy County AttorneyMaricopa Country Attorney's Ofc1997 - 2003
Publication nameTitleDate
DMMG NewsletterTexting and Driving2013
DMMG NewsletterArizona Gun Rights2013
DMMG NewsletterDUI Test Results and Scottsdale Crime Lab2013
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
South Texas College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1997
Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law SchoolEnglishBA - Bachelor of Arts1991
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Arizona Channel 3 newsGlendale Teen Accused of Murdering Older Adult Sex Partner2014
Fox 10 NewsArizona DPS crack down on2013