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George Holton Yates

Criminal defense Attorney at Virginia Beach, VA

5.0   6 reviews
  • State Years
    Virginia - VA 41 years
    Utah - UT 11 years
    Florida - FL 40 years
  • Licensed for 41 years
    State VA
    Acquired 1982
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2016
  • Licensed for 11 years
    State UT
    Acquired 2012
    Administrative - Not Authorized to Practice
  • Licensed for 40 years
    State FL
    Acquired 1983

About George

Learn George’s areas of practice.


George Holton Yates has been Lead Counsel at his law firm in Virginia Beach since 1989 where he has defended thousands of clients in judge and jury trials of criminal cases in every city in the Greater Hampton Roads region and many other cities and counties throughout the State of Virginia.  He has also defended clients in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Florida.


Prior to his 24 years experience as lead counsel, Mr. Yates was Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach from 1985-1989 where he tried hundreds of judge and jury trials of every kind of criminal case from DUI to child sex abuse to murder.


He has been certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Specialist (1987, 2002, 2007 and re-certified in 2012).


As a graduate of Wake Forest Law School in 1982, Mr. Yates was a member of the Moot Court team.  He specialized in civil and personal injury litigation for 3 years before leaving private practice to become a prosecuting attorney.


During his time with the Commonwealth's Attorney office, Mr. Yates became more aware of the special needs of criminal defendants, and how poorly some of them were represented by their lawyers. There were many times during those years as a prosecuting attorney that he observed defense lawyers failing to make critical arguments for their clients. He often found himself making those arguments for the defense simply to make sure those defendants were treated fairly by the judge or jury.


After leaving the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office in 1989, Mr. Yates began his own law firm, George Holton Yates, PC.  From 1989 to 1995, he practiced every kind of law:  Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Civil & Construction Litigation, Domestic Relations, Wills & Trusts, Real Estate and some Business law.  He taught a business law class for the City of Virginia Beach and continued to serve as a Commercial Law Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.


Since 1995, Mr. Yates has specialized in Criminal Defense and Personal Injury.



AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

Contact George

George Holton Yates, PC
1023 Laskin Road, Suite 101
Virginia Beach, VA, 23451-6314


5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | November 24, 2013
I recently needed legal representation and Mr. Yates did a fantastic job. His knowledge and attention to detail aided in the success of my case. He was very professional and his office staff was very helpful. I feel confident in recommending Mr. Yates's legal services. He is not only thorough, but willing to take the time to discuss my concerns and respond to questions.
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Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2013
Love my results!! The Best
Charged with several things and only found guilty on 1 charge that was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. Received a small fee, court costs and NO JAIL TIME! Hallelujah. Retain this man. There is nobody better.
Posted by anonymous | June 3, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
2nd DUI
Mr. Yates is a great lawyer. He knows the laws and my DUI case was dismissed. He was very compassionate with my situation. We used him 30 years ago on another matter and he was able to mediate and make both parties happy. His rates are reasonable and far less than others that quoted. If I ever need him in the future, I will definitely use him again.
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Posted by Dave | June 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer. He's helped my family through the years. I'd recommend him highly to anyone seeking an attorney.
Posted by anonymous | December 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Dismissed!!! Assault case
Talk about professional. Mr Yates will tell you the ins and outs of your case. This was my first time dealing with Johnny Law so by nature I was nervous. They always say go with your first instinct and that's what I did. So I called Mr Yates and the receptionist was as calm as possible and very embarrassing. She told me with confidence "Mr Yates is the man for you and he'll take care of you" from there I set up a meeting. I can admit I was nervous speaking with him but he reassured me that "I'll do what's best for you" he was straight forward but tactful in his delivery, but I knew he was the man for my case. On the day of the trail he smiled and told me worse case scenario. But as they say in wrestling "for every move there is a counter and for every counter there's a move." When I say he was well prepared that's an understatement. We walk into the court room and less than 10 minutes dismissed! He's well worth every penny.
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Posted by anonymous | December 10, 2013
Great Dismissal!
Unfortunately, I received a summons for speeding more than 10 mph over the limit. At my first appearance I asked for a continuance to hire an attorney and made an appointment to see Mr. Yates. Feeling I could trust and confide in Mr. Yates, I retained him and follow his instructions. On the day of my court case, the charge for speeding was DISMISSED!
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AVVO RATING 7.3 (Very Good)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2016.

Public Reprimand issued in VA, 2016
updated on 03/08/2017

Public Reprimand means an attorney did something wrong, but may still practice law. The State gives the lawyer a Public Reprimand in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior. Details of the infraction are made part of the public record.

Work Experience

  • Lead Counsel
  • George Holton Yates, Attorneys at Law, PC
  • 1989 - Present
  • Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney
  • Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney
  • 1985 - 1989


  • Wake Forest University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1982
  • Western Washington University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1978

Legal Cases

  • Robbery and Assault & Battery
  • The Robbery charge was dismissed. The Assault & Battery charge was Nolle Prosequi.


  • Utah State Bar
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Criminal Trial Specialist
  • 1987 - Present
  • Florida Bar
  • Member
  • 1984 - Present
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Member
  • 1982 - Present
  • American Arbitration Association
  • Commercial Law Arbitrator
  • N/A
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Virginia Beach Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Board Certified - Criminal Trial Specialist
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • 2019

Speaking Engagements

  • Virginia Beach Bar Association
  • Trial Practice in Virginia Beach
  • 1999

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (0)
Endorse George
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 06
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. George Yates is an institution among Hampton Roads professionals. Aggressive and creative by nature and as comfortable in a courtroom as others are on the beach. He has tried countless criminal and personal injury cases. His experience provides invaluable prospective from the first meeting to the conclusion of the representation. Felony to misdemeanor, slip and fall to auto accident, you are in good hands with Mr. Yates."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"George is a staunch advocate for the rights of those who have been charged with a criminal offense. He is a skilled trial attorney who works hard for his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse George. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Unknown Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer. George Yates brings knowledge and excellence to the courtroom. We have known each other for many years."
This attorney hasn't created any attorney endorsements recently on Avvo.