Craig Mastantuono

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas SC
Craig Mastantuono
Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas SC

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, White Collar Crimes; view more

Licensed in Wisconsin since: 1992

Education: DePaul University College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2023

Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas SC

219 N. Milwaukee St.
Suite 520
Milwaukee, WI 53202 Visit website


Craig Mastantuono is a managing partner at Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas SC, a Wisconsin law firm with offices in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward and in downtown Waukesha, specializing in defending people accused of crime. He practices law statewide, defending people in criminal cases and investigations, crisis management and white-collar compliance. Using a strategic and imaginative approach to achieving positive outcomes for his clients, Attorney Mastantuono is well respected as an aggressive trial lawyer and effective negotiator.

He has been recognized in criminal defense in Wisconsin Super Lawyers every year from 2005 through 2022, and frequently included in the Top 50 Lawyers in Wisconsin and Top 25 Lawyers in Milwaukee categories; he was previously named an up-and-comer in Milwaukee Magazine’s Top 75 Lawyers survey in 2003. Before entering private practice, he specialized in defending drug prosecutions for the Waukesha County Trial Division of the WI State Public Defender. In addition to an overall winning record in jury trials in state and federal courts, Mr. Mastantuono has won cases in published decisions in the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He was an early contributor to policy group collaboration among local courts, prosecutors and the defense bar aimed at resolving criminal cases with early intervention outcomes like diversion and deferred prosecution agreements, employing evidence-based strategies to achieve fair plea results and allow people to overcome their mistakes and move forward without the burden of a criminal conviction.

Whether taking a case to trial, negotiating the best deal possible, or preventing a criminal charge from being filed in the first place, Attorney Mastantuono consistently employs creative approaches to fighting for his clients and achieving successful results in his cases.

Outside the courtroom, Attorney Mastantuono is an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School, teaching Criminal Practice for future prosecutors and defenders. He is a frequent lecturer at attorney training seminars, speaking on criminal case litigation before such groups as the Wisconsin State Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL). He served on WI Governor-elect Tony Evers' transition team Committee on Criminal Justice Reform, and currently serves on Governor Evers' Judicial Selection Advisory Committee.

Mr. Mastantuono received his law degree at DePaul University Law School, and his bachelor's degree in business administration cum laude at Loyola University of Chicago.

At Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas, our case results speak for themselves; visit our website at to review them in detail. With a statewide practice, in-house investigation and client services staff, and an exclusive focus on criminal justice cases, our team has the experience and skill necessary to handle any case or problem and get the result you need. 

Free consultation and inquiries accepted, and immediate emergency phone access to Atty. Mastantuono or another of our lawyers is available 24/7/365 if help is needed right away.

Two locations to serve you:

219 N. Milwaukee St., Suite 5B, Milwaukee, WI 53202, 414-276-8662

741 N. Grand Ave., Suite 209, Waukesha, WI 53186, 262-422-6887



Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense: White Collar

Focus areas

Criminal Law, White Collar Crime

  • 70% Criminal Defense
  • 30% Criminal Defense: White Collar

First Admitted: 1992, Wisconsin

Professional Webpage:

  • Assist Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to interview and recommend attorney applicants for appointment to Wisconsin's Circuit and Appellate Courts., Governor's Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, Wisconsin Governor's Office of Legal Counsel
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Philanthropic 5 Award
  • Milwaukee Magazine, Top 75 Lawyers Survey
  • Anabell Cook-Whitcomb Award, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
  • Wisconsin Law Journal - Leaders in the Law
  • Milwaukee Business Journal, 40 Under Forty
  • Best of Milwaukee Reader's Poll, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Shepherd Express
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • American Constitution Society (ACS) - Milwaukee Chapter Chair.
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association – President (2015-16)
  • Wisconsin State Bar, Criminal Law Section
  • Programs & Interventions Committee, Milwaukee County Community Justice Council, 2009    
  • Justinian Lawyer's Society
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL)
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Criminal Sentencings, Wisconsin Opinions, January 18, 2000; co-author Barbara Gorman, Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office.
  • Motion Practice, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference, 1999.
  • Hey Judge, Am I Moving You Yet? Wisconsin Opinions, June 28, 2000 and July 5, 2000.
  • Commission Needed to Reform Juvenile Law, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Crossroads Section 5/18/03.
  • Juvenile Competency, Wisconsin State Bar Association, Annual Convention, 2003; co-presenter Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Northwestern University.
  • Hot Topics in Juvenile Law, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference, 2004.
  • Wisconsin Public Defender Trial Skills Academyfaculty, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2015.
  • Criminal Law Procedure, Wisconsin State Bar/Bench & Bar Conference, 2005.
  • Criminal Law Issues & Your Case, WI Association for Justice, Tort & Technique Seminar, 2009.
  • Appellate Criminal Case Law Update, Marquette University Law School Criminal Law Conference, faculty; 2003-present.
  • Spectacular Sentencings, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference, 2011.
  • SOS: Defendant's Right to Counsel, Wisconsin Lawyer magazine, August, 2012; co-author Rebecca Coffee.,
  • Gun Law & The Second Amendment: A View from the Street, National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action Firearms Symposium, San Diego, CA, 2011.
  • Castle Doctrine & Self-Defense, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference, 2012.
  • Dogs & Cats Working Together: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Criminal Cases, webcast; Wisconsin State Bar Association 2013.
  • My Case Stinks, Or Does It? Other Act Evidence in Sexual Assault Trials, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Quarterly Mtg. & Seminar, Savannah, GA, 2013.
  • Can They Do That? Search & Seizure Law, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference, 1998.
  • Motion Practice: Pitching Your Case From Start to Finish, Wisconsin State Public Defender Conference; co-presenter Rebecca Coffee, 2013. 
  • Confronting Other Acts Evidence Head On, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) Spring Seminar 2015.
  • Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions: The Role of Defense Attorney, State Bar of Wisconsin CLE; co-presenter Rebecca Coffee, 2015.
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • L4B&G, Lawyers for Boys & Girls Clubs Event, legal community fundraiser hosted by Mastantuono & Coffee, 2003-current
  • Post-conviction sentence modification - Milwaukee 53206 - provided 18 months & 100+ hours of legal work devoted to modifying the sentence and securing the release of Baron Walker, a Wisconsin inmate and subject of the documentary film Milwaukee 53206, who was repeatedly denied parole despite serving over 22 years of a parole eligible sentence, and competing all rehabilitative programs. Mr. Walker was released from prison in August 2018 as a result of our legal work on his behalf., 2018
  • City of Milwaukee Board of Harbor Commissioners, current term: 2008-present
  • Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner, Branch 18 - current
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Frequent expert legal commentator for TV Ch. 12 WISN/ABC News Milwaukee
Educational Background:
  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, J.D. Juris Doctor, 1992
  • Loyola University of Chicago, B.B.A./Business Administration, Marketing, 1989
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Burnett County – Intentional Homicide (2009): Evidence Suppressed, Case Dismissed. Client charged with homicide in a self-defense case after using his firearm to shoot intruder who broke into his home. Defense moved for dismissal after Sheriff's Department lost crucial evidence. Case dismissed prior to trial, decision affirmed by WI Court of Appeals at 2010 WI APP 69, 2009
  • Kenosha County - 2nd Degree Sexual Assault (2019): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Client accused of intoxicated victim sexual assualt by a fellow college student - both parties student athletes. Defense utilized investigative resources to dig deeper than the police and prosecutors in a campus investigation involving witness interviews, scene view, and timeline analysis; jury acquited client in 35 minutes of deliberation after 4 days of witness testimony, 2019
  • Milwaukee County - Misconduct in Public Office & Bribery (2012): Jury Trial Not Guilty. County Supervisor accused of accepting cash payment for official act. Client acquitted by Milwaukee County jury following a weeklong trial and extensive investigation and preparation in high-profile case, 2012
  • Waukesha County - Resisting/Obstructing Officer; Civil Rights Lawsuit (2014): Case Dismissed, Monetary Settlement Paid to Client. Federal civil rights litigation over the wrongful arrest, prosecution, and evidence destruction by police resulting in a grave injustice to client. In state Circuit Court, criminal case prosecution dismissed on defense motion due to police bad faith in destroying video evidence that would have vindicated client and implicated police in the false arrest; in federal district court, client ultimately secured a monetary settlement in the civil rights case against the police department, 2014
  • Milwaukee County - First Degree Sex Assault of a Child (2016): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Client accused falsely of inappropriately touching his adoptive son, a special needs child with mental health isues and cognitive delays. The jury returned a not guilty verdict after 5 days of testimony, during which the defense challenged a biased and flawed investigation and manipulative interview tactics by state child forensic interviewers who failed to follow their own best practices guidelines for avoiding suggestibility when interviewing children, 2016
  • Sheboygan County – Attempt Sexual Assault & False Imprisonment (2012): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Evidentiary motion on right to counsel during interrogation ultimately litigated before Wisconsin Supreme Court, resulting in favorable ruling for client at 2010 WI 25. Jury acquitted client on all charges after weeklong jury trial, 2012
  • Milwaukee County - Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Bail Jumping (2013): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Client charged after police searched the car he was driving and seized a quarter-pound of marijuana. Client acquitted following three days of intensely contested jury trial, 2013
  • Jury Trials Matter. Winning a trial is the last hope for vindication for an innocent person. If you're interviewing lawyers to represent you in a criminal case, ask these questions: When was the last time you tried a case to a jury? When was the last time you won a not guilty verdict in a felony jury trial? At M&C Law, our trial record speaks for itself. Some of Attorney Mastantuono's recent jury trial and litigation results are highlighted below. For a more complete list of case outcomes, including plea deals, deferred prosecutions, and diversion agreements, visit our website or simply call us for a free consultation, 2016
  • Milwaukee County - Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child, 5 Counts (2011): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Client acquitted following weeklong jury trial involving intense investigation and use of DNA expert witnesses, 2011
  • Brown County – Reckless Homicide (2013): All Felonies Dismissed. Client charged with causing the death of his infant daughter after police accused him of placing his child in the wrong sleep position. Following extensive investigation and work with defense forensic pathologists, charge reduced to a single misdemeanor, with client receiving one-year probation, and no jail, 2013
  • Milwaukee County - Sexual Assault, Second Degree (2015): Jury Trial Not Guilty. Client accused of sex assault by force following business conference social activity. Jury returned a not guilty verdict after three-day trial, at which the defense successfully established that, in truth, a consensual sexual encounter had occurred and that the accusation lacked credibility, 2015
Representative Clients:
  • Kenosha County - Sexual Assault, Second Degree / Intoxicated Victim 2 counts (2019): Not Guilty Jury Trial. College student accused of assault of another college student in an acquaintance dorm setting. Extensive defense investigation and expert DNA analysis to prepare for jury trial and full acquittal. , 2019
White Papers:
  • Castle Doctrine & Self Defense, Update outline for presentation to Public Defender Confeence on gun law home defense amendment to WI self-defense statute,, 2012
Industry Groups:
  • American Constitution Society (ACS) (Milwaukee Chapter Chair)
  • National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • Wisconsin Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association (Past Pres.)

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

“Polished oral advocate. Great lawyer.”

“Very smart and an excellent litigator. Gets great results by working his cases very aggressively. Doesn't give up on what he wants to achieve in a case.”

“All around fantastic attorney. Creates positive solutions for clients in seemingly impossible cases.”

“I have seen more of Craig in lecturing situations than in court, but his teaching tells me that he knows what he is doing. I have learned more from one or two short lectures by him than in some semester-long classes and two day CLE's. He knows how to present complex subjects cleanly and clearly.”

Office location for Craig Mastantuono

219 N. Milwaukee St.
Suite 520
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-276-8662

Articles about Craig Mastantuono by Super Lawyers

Bigger Than the Cases

Additional sources of information about Craig Mastantuono

Attorney resources for Craig Mastantuono

Page Generated: 0.058393955230713 sec