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Thomas C. Goolsby

DUI and DWI Attorney at Wilmington, NC

4.6   21 reviews

also known as Thom Goolsby

  • Licensed for 32 years
    State NC
    Acquired 1992
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2019

About Thomas

Learn Thomas’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. DUI and DWI
    Driving While Impaired, Alcohol or Drugs. Handled 1000s of cases over 2+ decades.

    32 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Criminal defense
    DWI/DUI, Revoke License, Assault, Drugs, Financial Crimes (Fraud/Embezzlement), First Time Offenders, Domestic Violence, Traffic Offenses

    32 years, 10,000 cases

  3. Personal injury
    Motor Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death, Work/Construction Injuries, Tractor-Trailer Collisions

    32 years, 2,000 cases


Trusted, Experienced Trial Attorney & Former North Carolina Senator. Recently awarded NC's highest honor, Order of the Long Leaf Pine, for legal and legislative service to North Carolina and its people. You will find no other lawyer with his vast experience in the law (trial attorney for 22+ years in North Carolina courtrooms) and legislation (two-term North Carolina Senator).

Thom Goolsby has a commanding courtroom presence and is NEVER afraid to fight for his clients and their rights. His many years drafting legislation in the Senate give him a superlative understanding of the law, its structure and statutory interpretation.

A top graduate of The Citadel, Senator Goolsby served his country as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He earned his MBA from Golden Gate University and Law Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Recognized as an exceptional statesman, he headed the Judiciary One and Justice & Public Safety Committees in the Senate. After retiring from the Senate, he continues to serve as a Crime Commissioner and Courts Commissioner.

From matters large to small, Senator Goolsby brings tenacity, wisdom and fearlessness to the courtroom. Again and again clients appreciate the way he takes a personal interest in their lives and struggles.

When you need a highly skilled advocate to personally handle your case, look no further than Thom Goolsby.



Client's Choice 2016,2014
Client's Choice
2016 2014

Photos and videos


Goolsby Law Firm, PLLC


4.6 / 5.0
  21 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
Client's Choice 2016
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Ian | February 6, 2014
Senator Goolsby did me right! My ex-girlfriend charged me with assault. I did not do it and Thom was the only lawyer who would even talk to me about trying my case. He kicked ass in court and showed her to be a liar. The judge found me not guilty. Yeah!
Posted by anonymous | February 6, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Sincerest Gratitude to Thom!
Thom Goolsby was a superb attorney! He is highly respectable, empathetic, and knowledgeable. I was told that he was one of the best lawyers and town, and I surely wasn’t misled! He represented my case with the utmost professionalism. He is a skilled lawyer and has my highest and sincerest thanks and respect!
Posted by Chelsea | December 5, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very knowledgeable
I was arrested for my 1st DWI…it was a bad one too. It definitely would’ve resulted in a 95% worse outcome if I’d gone with anyone other than Thom. He’s a very busy attorney and will get back to you but be patient..he’s very involved in every one of his cases which keeps him busy and you’ll see it thru your cases final outcome. I didn’t have a clue as to how deep in I was until after the judges decision and I looked closer into all of the levels.. He got me off with the lightest level possible and I’m so thankful and amazed. Thom AND his super cool assistant Heather did more than I could’ve ever imagined. Thank you very much to the both of them. Y’all are great!
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Posted by Laci | February 24, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer & Senator
I was charged with assault and battery and was very worried about going to jail, as well as having a violent criminal record. Thank you for calming my fears and helping me in court. When I learned that you had had my case dismissed, I was overjoyed. You have a great staff and I could not ask anymore from a lawyer. You are the best!
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Posted by CJ | October 14, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thom Goolsby A+
Thom Goolsby is an amazing lawyer. his representation of me was above and beyond anything I ever expected. he aggressively represented me in two Superior Court jury trials. Senator Goolsby was impressive to watch in action. He fought every issue and won both of my cases. I could not have imagined a more competent, caring and skilled trial advocate. I give him my highest recommendation and eternal thanks for all he did for myself and my family.
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Posted by anonymous | October 4, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Competent, Knowledgeable and Committed
Attorney Goolsby is very competent, knowledgeable and committed. He takes his cases and clients very seriously. He represented our son recently on a minor traffic ticket and it was dismissed. Attorney Goolsby gave us total peace of mind that our son was in the very best of hands. Just watch his video and you too will be assured that he's the best to represent you!!
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Posted by Hayden | September 30, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Charged with DWI- Not Guilty
Thank goodness for Thom Goolsby. What a fighter! He did not hesitate to take my case to trial. He preformed a withering cross examination of the arresting officer in my DWI case. It was like a tv show. When it was my turn to testify he led me step-by-step through my case. At the end of the trial he gave a wonderful closing argument. The judge found me NOT guilty! I would recommend Mr. Goolsby to anyone who wants an excellent lawyer who takes care of his clients and knows how to win cases.
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Posted by Jacob | September 23, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thom's the best!
I was charged with DWI and Reckless Driving after passing out and crashing my car. Apparently, I had a seizure while driving and was groggy at the scene when the police arrived. The investigating officer found drugs in the car and was convinced I was impaired by them. He had my blood drawn at the hospital for a test and charged me with the crimes. I am so glad I had Senator Thom Goolsby fighting for me. He stood strong and was with me at every court date. He challenged everything the State did and filed motions to protect my rights. The officer wanted to see me hammered and Senator Goolsby would have none of it. He fought hard for me. I could not believe it when I saw the officer throw up his hands and walk away when the case was dismissed. I walked out of the courtroom with my witness and my dad as a free man with no record! Senator Goolsby is the real deal. He is the best!
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Posted by constance | March 23, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I went to Thom Goolsby a while back for personal injury and he was amazing he helped to get me the most from a bad situation.He was very polite and professional so was his staff. I would recommend him to anyone needing legal representation. I cant thank him enough God Bless You Thom Goolsby, Yours Truly, Mrs Constance Wills
Posted by Kristin | June 13, 2015
Expunction - New Law- adult felony charges
Mr. Goolsby had my ADULT felony charges Expunged!!!! Seventeen years ago, at 21 years old, I was convicted of numerous very serious felony charges and due to the new NC Expunction Law that Mr. Goolsby supported as Senator, opening up the possibility for the expunction of felony convictions for people over the age of 18, the horrible past that followed me all these years has been washed to the ocean floor. Mr. Goolsby represented me and literally gave me my life back.
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Posted by Sharon | May 10, 2015
First Time Offence - SDD
Thom and his staff helped me tremendously on my first offence charge. Instead of a conviction, I was able to do community service, pay court fees and have my case dismissed. I've also hired him for my personal injury case due to an auto accident that wasn't my fault. I would rather pay more for an attorney with long standing experience and reputation than a cheap attorney who will charge less because they need business. Would highly recommend him!
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Posted by Tony | November 19, 2014
Experienced trial lawyer
Thom is an experienced trial lawyer. Not afraid to go to court. He is particularly knowledgeable his areas of practice, but he has a wide range of knowledge of legal matters outside his practice which enables him to alert his clients to legal concerns that others might not recognize.
Posted by anonymous | February 17, 2014
highly recommend
Not sure where these poor reviews are coming from but Thom did outstanding job with my case. I was kept informed from day 1 about each and every hearing and if I ever had an issues my call was returned promptly. I was given Senator Goolsby's cell phone number and again was in regular communication (this was all during his senate race). I personally could care less if I ever heard from my attorney as long as everything was handled, I know that in my case everything was dismissed! I would and have referred a number of individuals to Senator Goolsby and will continue to do so when needed.
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Posted by anonymous | February 17, 2014
The Goolsby Law Firm- Review
Mr. Goolsby was highly recommended by several friends in the Wilmington area. After meeting with him I decided to move forward. I could not have made a better choice. He was very up front about everything involving my case and delivered on what he promised. As an added bonus his staff was on call 24/7 keeping me informed about trail dates, continuances, and progress etc. My case was common one in a college town and I honestly didn't expect the level of attention given by the firm and especially Mr. Goolsby himself. Mr. Goolsby was not the cheapest but as they say you get what you pay for. I would highly recommend for any criminal defense case.
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Posted by James | February 17, 2014
No regrets with Thom Goolsby
I hired Thom Goolsby to help me deal with a driving while ability impaired charge. I had the choice of taking a plea or fighting the charge. Had I taken the plea the results would have been devastating however, there was a risk of a much heavier punishment had I fought the charge in trial and lost. It would have been much easier for Thom to recommend the safe bet and take the plea. I would have taken the plea had Thom insisted it was my best bet but, he was adamant that we needed to fight this. Thom cross-examined the states witnesses with a vengeance and I will stop just short of saying he made them look foolish. I am forever grateful to Thom for not allowing me to be steamrolled by the the legal system. If I ever did need counsel again I wouldn't consider hiring anyone else. I had witnessed other attorneys while I was at the courthouse and I was absolutely sure that Thom was the best man for the job.
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Posted by anonymous | February 7, 2014
Great Lawyer
Thom helped me with my personal injury accident and he was very professional and got me a great settlement. He is such a kind and helpful person. Went the extra mile for me and my family.
Posted by Carole Lisacek | February 6, 2014
Sincere and trustworthy attorney
I had the pleasure of meeting Thom when I was involved in a accident. He is a kind and compassionate man who listens not only with his ears but with his heart as well. He treated me with the utmost respect and made me feel at ease throughout my ordeal. I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney from personal injury to criminal cases he's your man! Thank you from the bottom of my heart
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Posted by anonymous | February 6, 2014
Thom Goolsby
Mr Goolsby is a great man very family oriented goes that xtra mile to help people that need the help and truly cares I think he is the best lawyer I have ever worked with I feel safe with his judgement Highly recomended
Posted by anonymous | February 6, 2014
A Caring Lawyer
Thomas did an exellent job for me, I was well informed and he couldn't have been more concerned for my case. I would glady recommend him to my family and friends.
Posted by anonymous | September 17, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
NC Bar Association was Correct to Issue Reprimand
Thom Goolsby represented me in a level three misdemeanor case in September 2020 that went to trial before a judge. Over the 19 months it took to resolve the case, I drove round trip several times a long distance to meet my obligations to the court and defend myself. Goolsby's lack of communication, failure to familiarize himself with the case, and weak, timid defense before the judge led to a guilty verdict and a $100 fine. His defense summary of my case before the judge was factually inaccurate and displayed a lack of preparation for court. I paid Goolsby $1500. In this case, I regret I did not defend myself. The results could not have been much worse and would undoubtedly have been much less expensive. I can understand why the State of NC has barred him from the financial services industry and why the NC Bar Association reprimanded him for neglect of a client.
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AVVO RATING 7.8 (Very Good)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2019.

Reprimand issued in NC, 2019
updated on 11/27/2019

Typically in this case the lawyer's poor behavior is exposed to the public in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.

Work Experience

  • Senator
  • North Carolina General Assembly
  • 2011 - Present
  • Owner
  • Goolsby Law Firm, PLLC
  • 1993 - Present
  • Writer
  • Carolina Syndicated Columns
  • 1995 - 2014
  • Professor
  • Campbell Law School
  • 1994 - 2010
View all work experience


  • University of North Carolina School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1991
  • Golden Gate University
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration
  • 1987
  • Citadel, Military College of South Carolina
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1984

Sample of Legal Cases

  • State v. Scaturro
  • Not Guilty on DWI and Careless & Reckless
  • State v. Tucker
  • Not Guilty on DWI.
  • State v. Pedersen
  • Dsimissed
View all legal cases


  • NC Crime Commission
  • Commissioner
  • 2012 - Present
  • NC Courts Commission
  • Commissioner
  • 2012 - Present
  • International Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Internation Association of Penal Law
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Client Satisfaction
  • American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • 2015
  • Nation's Top One Percent
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • 2015
  • Litigator Award
  • Trial Lawyers Board of Regents
  • 2015
  • Million Dollar Advocate
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • 2014
  • Order of the Long Leaf Pine
  • North Carolina Governor
  • 2014
View all awards


  • ISISC Journal
  • The Role of the Prosecutor in the Administration of Justice
  • 1994

Speaking Engagements

  • CCBI Forensic Science Conference
  • Forensic Science in North Carolina
  • 2013

Attorney endorsements

Received (14)
Given (38)
Endorse Thomas
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Thom is a tireless advocate for his clients and has earned a reputation as a heavy-weight in the courtroom. His commitment to the community and his vocation is unmatched, and I highly recommend him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Senator Goolsby is an excellent attorney. I have watched him in the Courtroom skillfully cross examine witnesses and often win his case for his client. He truly cares and desires to win. I strongly recommend him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 24
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Thom is a great attorney with a wealth of experience. If you have been charged with a crime you need an attorney like Thom Goolsby."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Thom is well liked by his peers and the legal community. He understands the law and actively pursues his client's best interests in all legal matters. Clients will get steadfast and well-rounded legal representation from Mr. Goolsby."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Thom is a colleague and friend. He represents his clients with great integrity and skill and deals forthrightly with his peers and adversaries alike. I am honored to endorse Mr. Goolsby"
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Senator Goolsby is a tireless warrior for the criminally accused. One lucky enough to have Senator Goolsby at the side knows that he will work above and beyond any call of duty to provide the best possible defense. Hire him."
Personal injury Attorney | Dec 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer - I have known Thom Goolsby and his associates for over 20 years. He is an extremely experienced and expertly skilled attorney who knows the law and fights extremely hard for his clients. As a former Senator, he has helped write the law. With his knowledge and experience, he makes sure the law is applied correctly in his clients’ favor."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Thom is an excellent criminal defense attorney. I have seen him handle cases day in and day out with the utmost professionalism and integrity. I gladly endorse this attorney!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Goolsby is a well respected and accomplished attorney in North Carolina."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Goolsby is an experienced and dedicated advocate for his clients. I endorse him in all areas of criminal defense and personal injury practice."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I first met Thom long before I was an attorney. I was initially impressed with his knowledge and calming effect on those around him. When I first became an attorney, I had a case with Thom as opposing counsel. I was then impressed by his abilities in the courtroom. Honest, hardworking, fair, very skilled, and knowledgeable are just a couple words I would use to describe Thom."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Thomas Goolsby for many years. He is a very experienced and capable criminal defense attorney. He is trustworthy and caring and responsive to his clients' needs."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Thomas. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Litigation Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Bankruptcy and debt
Commercial real estate
Wrongful death
Commercial real estate
Divorce and separation
Divorce and separation
Wilmington DUI and DWI Lawyer Thomas C. Goolsby
Thomas C. Goolsby
DUI and DWI Attorney
Wilmington, NC
Licensed for 32 years
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2019. See details