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Damon John Chetson

Sex crime Attorney at NC, NC

4.7   38 reviews

also known as The Chetson Firm, Damon Chetson

  • Licensed for 14 years
    State NC
    Acquired 2009
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Damon

Learn Damon’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Sex crime
    30%
    Mr. Chetson has represented clients in all phases of child pornography and sex offense cases, including pre-arrest, at trial, and in pleas. He understands the protocols used by prosecutors to try to convict clients, and defends cases vigorously

  2. Violent crime
    20%
    Mr. Chetson has won or secured outstanding results in robberies (state and federal), rapes and sexual assaults, and murders. In 2019, he won a murder, hung a jury in a second murder, and, with co-counsel, saved a client's life from the Death Penalty

  3. White collar crime
    20%
    Mr. Chetson handled one of the largest embezzlement cases in Wake County history - more than $2.7 million. In federal court, he represented a client accused of participating in a massive international bribery scheme involving more than $150 million.

  4. Criminal defense
    10%
    Damon Chetson tried three homicides and a major federal case before juries in 2019 alone, more jury trials than many lawyers handle in a lifetime. He has represented clients in frauds, murders, drug trafficking, sex cases, and child pornography.

  5. Domestic violence
    10%
    In 2019, Mr. Chetson secured a 92 month (7 year plea) in a case where his client, accused domestic violence for years, shot and killed his wife in Apex. He has represented - and won - cases involving simple assaults, Assault on a Female, child abuse.

  6. Federal crime
    10%
    Mr. Chetson has secured not guilties before multiple federal juries: winning a murder RICO in 2019, hanging a jury in a federal firearm offense where his client was caught on video holding the gun, winning a stolen firearm charge, and others.

With more than 10 years of experience in some of North Carolina’s most serious and notorious cases, we have a proven track-record of securing outstanding results for our clients.

In September 2020, Damon Chetson won three gun charges in one of the first major federal trials held in the Eastern District of North Carolina since the outbreak of COVID.  His client was found not guilty of two counts of using a firearm "in furtherance" of a drug trafficking offense and of one count of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.  Mr. Chetson won a result better than any plea offered by the federal government, as the jury thoroughly rejected the Government's assertions about these firearms in closing.

In 2019 alone, Damon Chetson tried four jury trials, more trials than some criminal defense attorneys try in a lifetime. In each jury trial, he secured victories. He was the only lawyer out of 82 in the largest federal RICO prosecution in U.S. history to win at trial, beating a murder charge that would've sent his client away for life. Mr. Chetson saved one client from the death penalty in a Wake Forest triple homicide in Wake County Superior Court (profiled in The Washington Post) and avoided a firearms conviction in a federal trial in the Eastern District of North Carolina for a client who would have received 10 years in prison. Mr. Chetson avoided a first degree murder conviction in the 2014 shooting death at Club Bodi in Raleigh’s warehouse district (WRAL).

In other recent cases, Mr. Chetson secured a rare “no contest” plea in another high-profile case involving a Mayor’s son who faced dozens of charges of child pornography; the client was sentenced to probation.

Also in 2019, Mr. Chetson won release on probation of his client originally charged with first degree murder (WRAL TV) when a Superior Court Judge granted Mr. Chetson’s request for “extraordinary mitigation,” the first time that judge handed down such a judgment in the judge’s 15 year judicial career. Another Chetson Firm client – originally facing a 10 year mandatory minimum – received a 40 month sentence in the Eastern District of North Carolina after pleading guilty to trafficking in more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine from Texas when a federal judge granted Mr. Chetson’s request for a “safety valve” reduction under 18 USC 3553(f).

And Mr. Chetson won dismissal of all charges and the release of a client accused of First Degree Kidnapping and Forcible Rape after a bond hearing in which Mr. Chetson and his investigator were able to show the Court that Raleigh police detectives had arrested an innocent person. The case has been expunged.

In 2019, Mr. Chetson resolved a major drug trafficking case involving a cartel-related operation in which his client received the "safety valve" and a 3 year sentence.  Mr. Chetson resolved two other murders in 2019 - one with a plea to probation in which the judge granted his client "extraordinary mitigation" after a two-hour sentencing hearing.  In a second plea, his client received 7 years in the 2017 shotgun death of his wife who he was accused of assaulting and abusing for more than 15 years.

Mr. Chetson also was able to avoid prosecution in several child pornography cases in 2019 and 2018 by providing early assistance to his client.  In another case, a client who hired the firm in a federal child pornography case was sentenced to half the time recommended in the probation Pre-Sentencing Report.

Whether you face a federal indictment, felony warrants in North Carolina state court, a misdemeanor citation, or an investigation by your employer, your university, or the local police, we have extensive experience in all aspects of the criminal process – from Grand Jury investigations to pre-arrest inquiries from detectives, licensing boards, or audits by the IRS, North Carolina Department of Revenue.

As a trained pilot, Mr. Chetson has even represented clients facing regulatory review by the FAA. He represents people before licensing boards, USOC SafeSport tribunals, and in Title IX hearings.

Mr. Chetson, his paralegal Dena Reese-Booze, and their network of licensed investigators, mitigation specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and forensic experts stand ready to help you in your time of need.

Mr. Chetson is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the North Carolina Bar Association.

Photos and videos

Attorney Damon Chetson and paralegal Dena Booze
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Location

The Chetson Firm, PLLC
19 W. Hargett Street
Suite 508
NC, NC, 27601

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Reviews

4.7 / 5.0
  38 customer reviews
Posted by anonymous | September 1, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Attorney, Wonderful Team!
Recently I found myself in the type of bind that requires a professional criminal defense attorney. Through my research, I happened upon the Chetson Law Firm. I was skeptical at first but decided to take a chance and explained my situation. Damon understood my concerns and advised me of my options in a no nonsense matter-of-fact way, then outlined for me exactly what he could do to help me resolve my issues. Once a decision was made, Damon and his Para-legal Assistant Dena, got to work and got my situation handled immediately. I figured going to court would take awhile especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. I was truly dreading the experience and mentally preparing for a long tumultuous haul. However, the situation was resolved much quicker than I imagined. To say they exceeded my expectations would be an understatement! The Chetson Law Firm team earned my respect and my trust through their hard working and driven yet, professional, conduct. This team is highly skilled. I also found them to be motivated to help to the best of their ability both quickly and efficiently. I would recommend their services to anyone without hesitation.
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Posted by Jon | July 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I don’t know what I’d have done…
The legal system is a labyrinth on its best days and seems specifically designed to torture people on its worst. Mr Chetson has enough optimism to keep looking for the best path forward and cynicism to avoid unnecessary missteps. He’s prepared, respectful, and has good professional rapport with the judges and prosecutors. He cares not just about his clients’ cases, but how the consequences of their interaction with the legal system affects and reflects on us all.
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Posted by Matt | October 8, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great aviation lawyer
Damon is probably the most honest, straightforward attorney I have worked with. My case was aviation related, he answered all my questions with great detail, and explained every option to me. I was able to make decisive choices based on his guidance. Thanks Damon!
Posted by anonymous | August 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend
I got into some legal trouble and found attorney Chetson through Google reviews. He is very knowledgeable and I felt comfortable with him representing me and guiding me through this process. Rest assure that he will handle your case professionally and will go over all your options, leaving you a peace of mind. From the beginning of not knowing what to do, through the end of assisting me to get my case exspunged...he is the attorney for you.
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Response from Damon Chetson July 16, 2020
Thank you for putting your trust in us. We work hard to try to achieve the very best outcomes in all our cases - big or small.
Posted by Shawn | February 28, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Reputation for Dilligence
I hired Damon after receiving a DWI charge last year in Garner. I remember the nerve-wrecking process of sorting through lawyers on Avvo. I'll be candid, (and you'll find Damon is also candid when doing business with him). His rate was slightly higher than the average. This made me apprehensive, but ultimately I found that Damon's commitment, skill, and professionalism were indispensable. It's a long process from your charge to your conviction, mine was approximately 10 months. I watched four other cases unfold in that period. There was never a question in my mind that I had the best lawyer. Damon was always on his game. Where I saw many other lawyers reply to the questions from the presiding judges and DA's with "um's" and "uh's," Damon had rehearsed answers with exact references to case precedent and procedure. My actual case lasted a little over two hours. When it was over, (ruling=not guilty) I heard the prosecuting DA mutter to a colleague "I wasn't expecting this case to go so long." It was clear this was due to Damon's familiarization with DWI charges. It's going to be a long road with any case in Wake country, and there are no guarantees, but Damon is someone you want in your corner. I told him before I even got the ruling that I would rate his services at 5/5 stars. He is known for bringing his A game.
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Posted by Bryan | December 20, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer in Raleigh area!
There are no words that can express the gratitude for the effort, diligence, and determination to obtain the best possible outcome for my case. I was amazed by his, his team, and associates knowledge, understanding, and efforts to research and interpretatuon of the law to protect me as.their client.
Posted by anonymous | December 17, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Damon Cheston
helped me out in a legal bind put in a good word to the judge & wrote an awesome paper helping me out with my case. i would definitely recommend Damon to anyone who needs excellent legal advise.
Posted by anonymous | December 17, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Diligent, Effective Attorney
Mr Chetson defended my son for a misdemeanor DWI and misdemeanor larceny charge. We feel the best possible outcome was achieved with the dismissal of the larceny charges. While he was convicted of the DWI he was not placed on probation, but instead Mr. Chetson reached an agreement with the DA and judge that my son would go into substance abuse treatment. I would highly recommend Mr. Chetson as an attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | December 17, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Lucky to have as my lawyer
For the first time in my life I needed a lawyer to represent me. I was confused upset and felt lost about the entire legal process. As a matter of due dillagence I Consulted with three different law firms. I chose Damon Chetson because he was the only attorney who made me feel like a weight was lifted off my sholders. He understood my predicament and was able to immediately start my case. He was able to at the same time set realistic expectations and give me piece of mind. All of the sleep I didn't lose because I had Damon in my corner was with every penny that I paid. Even though my case was not setting legal precedent and could have been something of an after thought to other lawyers, my time always mattered to Damon. I would highly recommend this firm for not only the result I was able to get but I felt like I mattered and deserved the best representation when others just saw my time as easy money. For not only tell best result possible but because of the piece of mind you will have knowing you are in such good hands I highly recommend Damon .
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Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Best Lawyer I Know
I first met Damon outside of his law practice when I became his flight instructor in 2012. Having given Damon flight instruction, I can say that he is a quick study, good listener, and has a high attention to detail. Since those first lessons I have spent enough time with him to see his dedication to the fair representation of his clients and his commitment to excellence professionally and personally. A couple of years ago I asked him for advice on a case. He not only gave advice, but took the case pro bono and settled it promptly, preventing further litigation and giving me a more favorable outcome than I was expecting or thought possible. I think one of the Damon's strengths is that he avoids making assumptions, and instead of forming a personal opinion, he investigates the merits of a case with an emphasis on the rights of the individual(s). This goes for the whole Chetson Firm. They are organized, approachable, and informative... and just darn good people. I highly recommend Damon and the Chetson Firm and wouldn't have anyone else defend me in the future.
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Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He's The Best
Damon is thorough, diligent, and passionate. He provided me guidance and advice about all of my legal questions. I know I probably asked the same questions over and over again, but each time, he took the time to patiently explain what I needed to know to set my mind at ease. He never judged me, he just did his job, and he did it exceptionally well.
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Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Worth Every Penny
Damon is a straight shooter. Throughout my case, he was matter of fact and honest about his interpretation of my case, the possible outcomes, and the likely outcome. My case tracked step by step exactly as he predicted in terms of likely outcome, and I am of the firm belief that I got the fantastic outcome that I did because of his experience and hard work. Throughout the representation, I was well informed and felt that I was in great hands, which it terms out I was. Anyone that is in trouble with the law, I strongly recommend Damon.
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Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely efficient
I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Chetson. He set realistic expectations and outcomes for my case. I had an extremely positive outcome and dully endorse this firm.
Posted by Kyle | December 15, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer
Damon worked with me on a DUI I received. He did an excellent job representing me and was able to get all charges dropped. I highly recommend him.
Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
No Slow-Mo Pro Bono
Damien took my case pro-bono as a generous in-kind contribution to the NAACP protests at the NC General Assembly. While busy lawyers of lesser character may have taken the opportunity to slack off a bit and work on paying cases, Damien showed up ready to fight, month after month while the State stonewalled with continuance after continuance. Worth 10 times what I payed and then some! ;)
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Posted by Amro | November 3, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best lawyer in town
Sometimes people do bad things we are human we live in learn but when things are happening there is a right man for the job Damon Cheson I have worked with him twice and he represents me best of my knowledge he is a straight forward and knows his stuff Great job
Posted by Shannon | October 21, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Attorney; Incredibly Thankful I Hired Him
Sometimes people make big mistakes but thankfully you can trust Damon Chetson to help you overcome the legal ones. Mr. Chetson will listen to and evaluate the circumstances of your case, give his no nonsense opinion about possible outcomes, and guide you through the system to help you make the best decisions about how to proceed. The most important thing that Damon Chetson does though is fight for your case. I contacted several lawyers after being charged with a DWI and each of them told me that the best thing to do would be to plead guilty. Feeling overwhelmed and scared, I contacted The Chetson Firm and immediately felt a sense of hope. I spoke with Catherine who reassured me, talked about the process, and answered all of my questions. I hired Damon and received the best outcome in court today; a verdict of not guilty! I know this verdict would not have been possible if I had not hired Damon. He never feared taking my case to trial. I am so grateful to be closing this chapter in my life and I could not be happier with my decision to hire Damon Chetson. I know the choices for lawyers is overwhelming but if you want a lawyer who you know will fight for you, then Damon Chetson is the choice you should make. I can not thank Damon enough for taking my case to trial, fighting for me, and for helping me to move on!
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Posted by Todd | August 26, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Superior Attorney
Finding the right defense attorney can be challenging, yet necessary due to stressful circumstances that don't represent our best judgment in life. However, Mr. Chetson and his colleague Ms. Winter take the guesswork and stress out of that decision with understanding and professional expertise that offers clients calm and superior representation at this difficult time. He is both understanding and business-like with his advice and aggressive management of your case, and a true credit to the law profession. I am extremely grateful that Mr. Chetson could take my case, and amazed at the incredibly fortunate outcome we received....the absolute best of wishes to Damon Chetson, and his firm.
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Posted by Sandra | March 17, 2015
Not guilty!
Thanks to Katherine and Damon Chetson at the Chetson Firm. I was very satisfied with the outcome and results of how Mr Chetson won this case. He is a very professional and experiences attorney in legal matters and the very best lawyer in Wake County. Thanks again for your support.
Posted by Katherine | March 11, 2015
Impressed
Mr. Cheston and Catherine were extremely helpful with my very stressful situation. They exhibited an amazing level of professionalism, and were patient, and helpful with my (many) questions and concerns. Mr. Chetson is an extremely talented attorney, who is passionate about his work and quite knowledgeable. I had a favorable outcome, that was no doubt due to his efforts. I am grateful and would highly recommend their services to anyone.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
  • The Chetson Firm, PLLC
  • 2009 - Present
  • Felony Law Clerk
  • Wake County Public Defender
  • 2007 - 2009

Education

  • University of North Carolina Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2009
  • University of Virginia
  • MA - Masters
  • 1996
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • BA
  • 1994

Sample of Legal Cases

  • State v. BB
  • Dismissal
  • State v. AS
  • Hung Jury and Dismissal
  • State v. JM
  • Dismissal
View all legal cases

Associations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • Wake County Academy of Criminal Trial Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2011 - Present
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Board Certified Specialist - State and Federal Criminal Law
  • North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2020
  • Top Rated Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2020
  • Top Rated Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2019
  • Top Rated Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2018
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2017
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2015
  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2014
  • Graduated with honors
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • 1994
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Law School Panel - UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Finding a Legal Job
  • 2010
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Liberalism
  • Legal Theory of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • 2008
  • Law and the Spontaneous Order in F.A. Fayek
  • The Constitutional Theory of Friedrich Hayek
  • 2002

Attorney endorsements

Received (21)
Given (26)
Endorse Damon
Criminal defense Attorney | May 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Damon and I have been colleagues in the Wake County defense bar for many years, and I can saw without reservation that he is an excellent attorney. His broad knowledge of state and federal law is impressive, and he works very hard to get the best possible results for his clients. If I had a friend who were in trouble, I would certainly recommend Damon to them."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 29
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Damon is an extremely talented, intelligent and dedicated criminal defense lawyer. I endorse him wholeheartedly and without reservation for all criminal defense matters in both state and federal court."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Damon is a student of the law who continues to develop a repertoire as an outstanding criminal trial lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 18
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. During my time as a District Attorney, he zealously advocated for his clients with passion and professionalism. He is a thorough and intelligent defense attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I do not know him personally. I have heard good things about him as attorney from a trusted and capable NC attorney some years ago. And he appears to remain as a very capable attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 07
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Damon is as sharp and well prepared as they come. Regarded highly in Wake County's DA's office. Gets results."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Chetson is a zealous advocate for each of his clients. His vast comprehension of criminal legal issues compliments his tenacity at trial."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Damon Chetson is an intelligent and hard working professional. I refer clients to his practice without hesitation when I am unable to represent them because I know they will be well represented and treated with respect. His knowledge of North Carolina State & Federal law is extensive and I frequently seek his advice on complicated matters."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Chetson is a friend and an accomplished attorney. I endorse this lawyer."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Apr 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Damon Chetson is a fierce advocate for his clients. His knowledge of the court system and the law is excellent. I have seen Damon advocate on behalf of clients charged with DWI and he is a remarkable defense attorney."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Feb 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Damon knows his stuff and is a tireless advocates for his clients. If I was charged with DWI he'd be the first attorney I called."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Chetson is extremely knowledgable in the law. Of equal importance, when you are seeking legal advice it is often at a time of crisis in your life. The last thing you want is to leave a message with an attorney and wonder if he or she will return your call. The Chetson Firm WILL be there for you in your time of need. I strongly recommend Mr. Chetson and The Chetson Firm."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I know for a fact that Damon Chetson answers his phone for his clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I refer my clients with criminal matters to his firm and they have been uniformly pleased. I am extremely confident in his abilities and will continue to refer matters to his firm."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Oct 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Chetson is a top notch litigator that is highly respected in our community known for his zealous representation of clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Damon. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Sep 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Damon is an excellent attorney that works hard for his clients. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a criminal defense attorney and particularly those with DUI charges."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
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DUI and DWI
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