Damon Chetson - The Chetson Firm

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Damon Chetson

The Chetson Firm

19 W. Hargett St. Suite 920

Raleigh, NC 27601


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Damon Chetson is a Raleigh criminal lawyer (Google Profile) who represents people charged with serious and minor crimes in Raleigh and the surrounding Research Triangle. He maintains an active state and federal criminal law practice, and is admitted to practice before the state courts of North Carolina and the federal courts of the Eastern District of North Carolina. The Chetson Firm’s office address is 19 W. Hargett St., Suite 920, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Since founding his firm in 2009, Mr. Chetson has represented more than 900 people in charges ranging from serious and violent crimes, state and federal drug conspiracies and drug trafficking, sex offenses, frauds and embezzlements, criminal trademark offenses, serious child abuse cases, gun offenses, kidnappings, burglaries, and Driving While Impaired (DWI), misdemeanor drug cases, larcenies, and assaults in Wake, Chatham, Orange, Durham, Johnston, and Pitt Counties and the Eastern District of North Carolina. He recently secured a not guilty verdict after five day jury trial in a case involving allegations of Shaken Baby Syndrome (also known as Abusive Head Trauma) in a case that spanned two years, four expert witnesses, and hundreds of pages of medical and scientific evidence.  In January, along with co-counsel, he tried to verdict a federal case involving charges of drug trafficking of PCP and the use of a firearm in connection with a federal drug trafficking offense – 18 USC 924(c). In another case, Mr. Chetson secured dismissal of all state charges with respect to a major drug trafficking conspiracy.

Mr. Chetson was profiled in 2011 by MSNBC.

Each case is different and no guarantees can be made. However, Mr. Chetson has achieved outstanding results for his clients, including “not guilty” verdicts in jury trials, hung juries, and acquittals by judge. He has successfully diverted clients from the court system into deferral programs – community service, treatment, anger management, and restitution agreements.

He has represented clients accused of sexual abuse, child abuse, embezzlement, tax investigations, and mortgage fraud in some cases that have never been prosecuted. An attorney’s early involvement in the case can make a difference in the outcome.

He has defended clients in complex drug conspiracies, and has represented clients at trial and in plea agreements who have been accused of drug offenses. In addition in some cases, he has helped win his clients reductions in punishment through cooperation agreements – “confidential informant” contracts – that have helped them reduce prison sentences, or avoid jail time or convictions altogether, depending on the circumstances.

Mr. Chetson maintains an active state and federal criminal practices, and focuses in criminal law. He regularly attends Continuing Legal Education programs to hone his skills, and has completed many of the same educational programs that law enforcement complete as part of their DWI or impaired driving training.

Mr. Chetson is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National College of DUI Defense, an organization dedicated to providing the best training available to the DWI defense attorney.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School, Mr. Chetson has represented clients in federal court who have been accused of involvement with drug trafficking cartels, and clients in state court who have been charged with a range of drug crimes, from possession to trafficking.

Mr. Chetson has also successfully represented people charged with sex-related crimes, including sexual assault, rape, and pornography crimes. His background and knowledge of technological issues, including how data is stored and transmitted on the Internet, makes him well equipped to represent people charged with cyber-related crimes, including the possession and distribution of prohibited pornography.

An important part of Mr. Chetson’s practice involves trial work. While only a tiny percentage of cases in the United States actually reach trial, Mr. Chetson believes that clients deserve an attorney who isn’t reluctant or afraid to argue the case before a jury trial. He has tried and successfully defended or litigated cases involving kidnapping, robbery, assaults, sex crimes, drug crimes, and driving while impaired charges.

Mr. Chetson’s belief in the trial system comes from his experience early in law school when he served as a law clerk at the Wake County Public Defender. In that capacity, he helped identify crucial alibi evidence on the morning of trial that led to a “Not Guilty” verdict for a client charged with Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon of a convenience store in Raleigh.

In December 2010, as second chair in another robbery and kidnapping seven-day trial in Wake County, Mr. Chetson and his co-counsel were able to win a “Not Guilty” verdict to eight counts of robbery and kidnapping that could’ve resulted in a 90 year prison sentence for the client. In December 2012, Mr. Chetson defended a man charged with his fourth DWI in four years, and hung the jury in favor of acquittal. Charges were subsequently dismissed. In January 2013, Mr. Chetson and co-counsel represented a client at trial in federal court charged with 924(c).

Where trial is not the best route, Mr. Chetson may be able to negotiate plea agreements with the District Attorney or United States Attorney that can reduce the punishment. In the federal system, he has experience with 5k1.1 “substantial assistance” plea agreements, 3553(f) “safety valve” reductions, and other avenues through the Sentencing Guidelines to help reduce punishments. In the state system, Mr. Chetson can sometimes arrange for deferral or diversion agreements, which allow his clients to undergo treatment or community service instead of a conviction. Frequently clients turn to Mr. Chetson to defend them at a jury trial on misdemeanor appeal.


Law School: University of North Carolina
Admitted to Bar: 2009
Practice Areas: Personal > Criminal Law
Personal > DUI Defense
Gender: Male
Status: Married
City of Residence: Raleigh, NC
Home Town: Philadelphia, PA
Home State: NC
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