Craig E. McElwee was born in Bethpage, New York, on September 17, 1969. He attended the public schools in Bethpage and graduated from Bethpage High School in 1987. He has maintained connections and friendships with many of the people he met and grew up with in and around his Long Island Community.
After high school, Craig attended Hofstra University where he was on the Dean’s List and became the New College Student Government President and a member of the Dean’s Council. After 4 years at Hofstra, Craig completed his studies in 1991 when he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science with minor focus in Humanities and Psychology.
In order to afford the expenses of college, Craig held a variety of part-time positions with a number of local employers. At various times he worked as a busboy in a Japanese Restaurant, a custodian in a commercial building, and an assistant manager at a pet store.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree, Craig next attended and earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from New York Law School, located in Tribecca, Manhattan. During Law School, Craig continued to work obtaining positions as a collection account assistant with Batzar & Weinberg, P.C. and eventually with Plaza Associates in Manhattan, where he worked until after graduation. Craig also completed an internship with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. As a part of his duties, Craig assisted the Senior Trial Attorneys in the preparation of a homicide trial, conducted extensive research on certain legal issues and prepared a legal brief which was filed with the court.
Craig completed his internship and graduated from law school in 1994. Since then, Craig has been admitted to practice law in the States of New York and Florida and, in fact, has been a prosecuting attorney in both States. Before forming the Law Offices of Craig E. McElwee, Craig worked for a sole-practitioner in Hempstead, New York and was then an Assistant State Attorney in the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida and an Assistant District Attorney in Suffolk County, New York.
In addition to his legal practice Craig was also an adjunct instructor at South Florida Community College where he taught criminal law and procedure at the Corrections and Law Enforcement Training Facility.
Craig has been the sole or lead attorney in over 80 jury trials, 25 bench trials (trials before a Judge only) and numerous pre-trial hearings. In a single year, 2008, Craig was the defense attorney on four (4) felony cases which resulted in trial. Craig tried all four cases to verdict, with three (3) of those trials resulting in acquittal on all felony charges. The charged offenses upon which the respective jurors returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY included homicide and robbery, a 6th time DWI and Felony Assault. In 2015, Craig successfully defended a client, at trial, against charges of Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Robbery in the 1st and 2nd degree and other related offenses, obtaining a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges. The following month, Craig obtained a Not Guilty verdict on behalf of a nineteen year old boy, wrongfully charged with Rape in the 1st Degree and other related charges.
Craig McElwee’s willingness and ability to successfully defend cases at trial, when necessary, and his experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system, the courts and its personnel has proven extremely valuable and helpful in resolving cases
The Offices of Craig E. McElwee maintains a caseload of only, approximately 20-45 active files, giving Craig ample time to devote to each case and client.
In addition to the above education and experience, Craig has received specialized training in the areas of DWI Trial Advocacy, Narcotics, Forensic Evidence, DNA, and Advocacy related to cases of Sexual Assault and Child Abuse.