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Clay Hernandez

Clay Hernandez

Office : 520-882-8823
Fax: 520-882-8414
[email protected]

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Clay Hernandez



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Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Clay Hernandez grew up along the border and is a fluent Spanish-speaker. Clay has been a criminal defense attorney for more than three decades and has earned an excellent reputation as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the Southwest. Clay represents clients in all kinds of cases, and specializes in drug trafficking offenses. He has successfully represented clients throughout Arizona, as well as state and federal courts nationwide. As of 2018, Clay has represented clients in cases in California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Illinois, New Mexico, South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York. Many of his cases have been featured in the national news media, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, Univision, the New York Times, and numerous other news outlets and magazines throughout the United States.

Clay is known for dedication to his clients and his zealous advocacy in his cases. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and is featured as a Top Tucson Lawyer by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine. As one of the nation’s premier trial lawyers, he has handled thousands of cases, offering his clients complete and vigorous representation in high-stakes matters. His decades of experience have earned him his reputation for diligence, attention to detail, innovation, evocative motion practice, and successful outcomes at trial.



Arizona State University, B.S. Criminal Justice, 1981
University of Arizona, J.D., 1986


Arizona, 1986
Texas, 1991 (inactive)
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1993
United States District Court, District of Arizona, 1986


United States District Court, E.D.Mich., 2008
United States District Court, E.D.N.Y., 2008
United States District Court, N.D.Ohio, 2008
United States District Court, S.D.Ill., 2009
United States District Court, S.D.Cal., 2012
United States District Court, N.D.Tex., 2014

*Also admitted pro hac vice in state and/or federal cases in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, Texas, South Dakota, Wyoming, Illinois, and Utah.


Mallotte v. Miller, 162 Ariz. 239, 782 P.2d 715 (App.1989)
United States v. Melvis-Henry, 815 F.Supp. 335 (D.Ariz.,1993)
United States v. Gaytan, 115 F.3d 737 (9th Cir., 1997)
United States v. Leon-Reyes, 117 F.3d 816 (9th Cir. 1999)
State v. Crowley, 202 Ariz. 80, 41 P.3d 618 (App. 2002)
State v. Monaco, 207 Ariz. 75, 83 P.3d 553 (App. 2004)


Guest Lecturer, “Legal Ethics for the Criminal Practitioner” University of Arizona Law School, 2006-2013
Member, Arizona State Bar Association, Committee on Criminal Law Specialization, 1995-1998
Vice President, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, 1996
Member, United States Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, 1997 & 2013


National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice
American Civil Liberties Union
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
International Comanche Society
Trout Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited
National Wild Turkey Federation


Top Tucson Attorney, Tucson Lifestyle Magazine
The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Law
Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report
Southwest SuperLawyers, Criminal Defense