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Mr. Damon Chetson

Mr. Damon Chetson

Multiple criminal trial victories, Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
  • Criminal Law, White Collar Crime, Domestic Violence
  • North Carolina
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When Damon Chetson ran for District Attorney in Wake County in 2022, and secured nearly 42 percent of the vote against a powerful incumbent, he did so because he doesn't back down from tough fights. And because he believes in the promise of the Criminal Justice system and its commitment that all people are innocent until proven guilty.

In more that a decade in practice, Damon has defended clients in some of North Carolina's most serious and most notable cases. In 2019, he secured the only win in the federal government's largest prosecution in American history.

That same year, he and co-counsel beat back the death penalty in a triple homicide in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He and another lawyer secured a hung jury in December of 2019 in a murder trial in Raleigh.

And in 2021, Damon won a complete acquittal in a first degree murder case in Smithfield.

In addition to his trial work, Mr. Chetson has been able to work out exceptional pleas, deferred prosecution agreements, and dismissal of charges in hundreds of other cases in more than a decade of practice.

Damon is one of fewer than 100 Board Certified Specialists in State and Federal Criminal Law in the entire state of North Carolina.

Mr. Chetson lives with his wife in Raleigh, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (1994) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2009, JD).

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
J.D. (2009) | Law
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Logo
University of Virginia
M.A. (1996) | European History
Honors: Smith Richardson Fellow
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University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (1994) | History
Honors: Graduated with honors
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Professional Experience
The Chetson Firm, PLLC
2009 - Current
Panel Attorney
Office of the Capital Defender
- Current
Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney
Eastern District North Carolina
- Current
Felony Law Clerk
Wake County Public Defender
Articles & Publications
Search & Seizure Chapter, General Practitioner’s Guide to Criminal Law
North Carolina Bar Association
10 Ways to Beat a DUI
Avvo Legal Guide
An Overview of Criminal Liability
Avvo Legal Guide
Federal Sentencing and Relevant Conduct
Avvo Legal Guide
North Carolina Drug Laws Explained
Avvo Legal Guide
Top 10 Drug Crime Myths
Avvo Legal Guide
Top 10 North Carolina DWI Myths
Avvo Legal Guide
Overview of a North Carolina Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Drunk Driving Charge
Avvo Legal Guide
Perfect 10 and Contributory Liability: Can Search Engines Survive?
North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology
Speaking Engagements
The Constitutional Theory of Friedrich Hayek, Law and the Spontaneous Order in F.A. Fayek
Legal Theory of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Liberalism
Finding a Legal Job, Law School Panel - UNC-Chapel Hill
Criminal Law: Social Media and Ethics, Criminal Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Greensboro, NC
North Carolina Advocates for Justice
Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law
North Carolina State Bar
Super Lawyer
Super Lawyers
Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Raleigh
10.0 Superb Rating
Top Attorney Award
Rising Star
Super Lawyers
2015 - 2019
Professional Associations
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
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National College of DUI Defense
- Current
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Wake County Academy of Criminal Trial Lawyers
- Current
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North Carolina Advocates for Justice
- Current
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North Carolina Bar Association
- Current
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Wake County Bar Association
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Carolina
North Carolina State Bar
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4th Circuit
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U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle & West Districts of North Carolina
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  • Free Consultation
    No obligation, free consultation either in person or by phone.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Payment Plans Offered
Practice Areas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
White Collar Crime
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
Legal Answers
Q. What does case number 21ucs846
A: 21 U.S.C. Sec. 846 the section of the United States Code (U.S.C. or federal law) that defines a drug conspiracy and the penalties associated with a drug conspiracy. It says: "Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy."

That is not a case number, but refers to the United States Code
Q. NC Resident : Will I go to jail for having possession of an empty grinder? Officer said it was a ticket
A: Unlikely. Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia in North Carolina is a class 3 misdemeanor which is punishable by court costs and a fine for most people. People who have very significant misdemeanor (5 or more prior convictions) criminal records are eligible for active sentences of up to 20 days in jail, but I have never seen anyone sent to jail solely for a conviction of misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Q. Is my criminal history supposed to be in my motion
A: You seem to be referencing your "discovery." Discovery is the material provided to you (through your lawyer) by the prosecutor's office in the state or federal system. The Motion for Discovery is the method by which the lawyer requests that discovery be provided. People often refer to their discovery as their "motion."

Your criminal history should be included in your discovery, particularly in North Carolina state court which has what is called "open file discovery." In federal court, the criminal history is often provided by may not be required in all cases because criminal history is not exculpatory and federal discovery law generally requires the disclosure of evidence that is exculpatory.

Sometimes the criminal history will not be the first thing that is provided. It may come in a subsequent set of documents sent by the prosecutor to your attorney. But you can often get your criminal history by talking with your lawyer about all the locations you have been arrested and having the lawyer do a background search in various states.
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Websites & Blogs
The Chetson Firm Website
The Chetson Firm Blog
Contact & Map
The Chetson Firm
19 W. Hargett St.
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27601
Telephone: (919) 352-9411
Fax: (919) 887-7269
Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Saturday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Sunday: 8 AM - 8 PM (Today)
Notice: We Will Assist You 24/7. Call Or Text (919) 352-9411.