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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
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

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.

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

He 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).

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
  • Free Consultation
    No obligation, free consultation either in person or by phone.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and even PayPal.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Payment Plans Offered
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Carolina
North Carolina State Bar
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4th Circuit
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • German: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
The Chetson Firm, PLLC
- Current
With more than 25 trials, Mr. Chetson in 2019 alone won victories in three homicide-related trials - including the largest federal RICO prosecution in U.S. history.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
J.D. (2009) | Law
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University of Virginia
M.A. (1996) | History (European)
Honors: Smith Richardson Fellow. Received MA in History in 1996. Teaching Assistant in Western Civilization core curriculum class in 1996-1997.
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University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (1994)
Honors: Graduated with honors
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Lead Chair Roster
Office of the Capital Defender
Selected to represent clients charged with capital (death penalty) murder in North Carolina state courts.
Criminal Justice Act Panel
Eastern District North Carolina
Serve on a panel of attorneys approved by the Court to represent indigent clients charged with federal crimes from 2014 to present.
Super Lawyer
Super Lawyers
Since 2020
Rising Star
Super Lawyers
Selected To Rising Stars: 2015 - 2019
10.0 Rating
Justia Inc
Professional Associations
National Association of Criminal Defense 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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Articles & Publications
Perfect 10 and Contributory Liability: Can Search Engines Survive?
North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology
Speaking Engagements
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
Websites & Blogs
The Chetson Firm Website
The Chetson Firm Blog
Legal Answers
6 Questions Answered
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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Contact & Map
The Chetson Firm
19 W. Hargett St.
Suite 508
Raleigh, NC 27601
Telephone: (919) 352-9411
Fax: (919) 887-7269
Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM (Today)
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
Notice: Open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, seven days a week.