The Best Criminal Lawyers in Charlotte, NC

Criminal law is not a game. Since each state gets to make and interpret their own laws, the criminal justice process can get rather complex. Thus, the average person is often unable to navigate through the full extent of the law.

Punishments can range from hefty fines or community service to long prison terms. In some states, including North Carolina, the death penalty is also an option! It’s essential that you make informed decisions to avoid mistakes that could cost you your freedom.

Regardless of whether you are being charged with a felony or misdemeanor that you had nothing to do with or you are in fact guilty, you must know the best criminal lawyers Charlotte, NC has to offer.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most renowned criminal law firms in Charlotte, North Carolina

Featured Law Firm: RTS Law Group

RTS Law Firm logo

Founded by its current criminal defense attorney, Ryan T. Smith, RTS Law Group has been representing people in need of criminal defense since 2009. In that time, they have not only managed to build a rock-solid reputation among their former clients, but have been recognized by many of their peers as well, who seem to be more than willing to recommend their criminal defense lawyers to anyone with criminal charges.


While they do offer general criminal defense attorney services, they have a lot of experience with traffic-related offenses, making them a perfect choice if you have a problem involving:

  • Speeding tickets
  • DWI/DUI charges
  • DMV hearings
  • License restoration litigation
  • Car accidents of any kind
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Drug Crimes
  • Any Criminal Charges


Since they know that these types of issues can come up at a moment’s notice, and that their availability might very well make the difference between you incriminating yourself and saying just the right thing, the team at RTS Law Group is available 24/7.

While they would be happy to see you in their Charlotte office, chances are that in most cases their potential clients would prefer contacting them remotely. This can be done either by writing to them at [email protected], filling out the contact form on their website, or by dialing (704) 552-4444 for a free initial consultation.

Average Cost

As is customary in the industry, RTS Law Group doesn’t list their prices on their website, but they will make their fee structure abundantly clear to you before you decide to hire them. They do offer a free consultation, which is great if you want to understand their approach before pulling the trigger.

According to what we have managed to glean from what is being said about them online, their prices seem to be more than reasonable, especially when considered in the light of the consistently impressive results they seem to be able to secure for their clients.

Online Reviews

Even though the online reviews system is by no means infallible and completely immune to manipulation, when you see a track record as impeccably clean as the one that RTS Law Group can boast, there is not much room for doubt.

With perfect scores on platforms like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Avvo and Google, and a substantial number of reviews that these scores were derived from (345 on Avvo and 367 on Google) you can be reasonably confident that you are seeing as realistic a picture as possible. In this case, that picture is of a reliable and compassionate criminal defense firm that takes just as much time to listen to their clients as it does to inform them of any single detail of their case and how it is being handled.

Why Did We Choose Them?

While there are a number of other criminal defense firms in Charlotte, NC, RTS Law Group seems to stand out. This is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that even their clients whose cases didn’t end favorably, wrote nothing but highly positive reviews, lamenting the outcome of the proceedings but placing zero blame on the law firm. Plus, they also offer free consultation!

Arnold & Smith Law

Arnold and Smith Law Logo

Arnold & Smith Law was founded by local Charlotte criminal defense lawyers Matt Arnold and Bradley Smith. Since opening their doors in 2007, they have expanded their law firms and now offer services related to other legal practice areas such as bankruptcy, business, estate and family law. However, criminal defense remains their forte to this day.

Areas of Expertise:

    • Drug charges
  • Drivers license restoration
  • Weapon offenses or gun permit denials
  • DWI/DUI issues
  • Domestic violence charges
  • Property crimes
  • Violent or sexual offenses
  • Any criminal law charges

If you are interested in their services, try visiting any of their three North Carolina offices (one of them being in Charlotte with the other two being in Monroe and Mooresville) between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM on weekdays. However, if this is not convenient for you, they can also be reached 24/7 by dialing (704) 370-2828 or by filling out the contact form available on their website.

As far as their pricing is concerned, they offer a free consultation. They don’t provide much information regarding other costs, including those involved in criminal defense cases. However, if their online reviews are to be believed, their prices for a Charlotte criminal defense attorney seem to fall well within the industry standard.

Speaking of online reviews, lawyers at Arnold & Smith have been deemed by a large majority of reviewers to be highly competent, while retaining the human touch and compassion so desperately needed in cases of this kind. The only negative review that we could find and that the firm left unaddressed mentions a $500 fee for the initial consultation. If true, it might be somewhat steep, but is something that you are warned about ahead of time.

DeCurtins Law Office

DeCurtins Law Firm for Criminal law logo

Founded all the way back in 1985 by its current managing partner, Robert J. DeCurtins, DeCurtins Law Office will gladly provide you with a free consultation in hopes of finding a way to help you. Fun fact about Robert J. DeCurtins: he is one of the few criminal defense lawyers in North Carolina with extensive experience as a polygraph examiner.

The law firm mainly focuses on criminal defense, more specifically:

  • Assault or manslaughter charges
  • Traffic violations
  • Theft
  • Drug-related crimes
  • Violations of probation
  • Property crimes

Aware of the urgency of criminal law, they have made themselves available for contact 24/7. You can contact them through their website at any time of the day, but if you want to give them a call, make sure to dial the appropriate number, i.e. call (704) 313-1131 during the day, or (704) 508-9131, if you want to reach them after hours.

Apart from mentioning that you will get a free initial consultation, they don’t discuss their pricing, but their customers don’t seem to have any objections regarding their fee structure. Quite the opposite, online reviews describe them as approachable, honest, and well worth the money. They are claimed to devote just as much attention and energy to lower-profile cases as they are to the more lucrative.

Jetton & Meredith Law

Jetton Law Firm Logo

In operation since 2009 and established by Mark S. Jetton, Jr. and Eric S. Meredith. Jetton & Meredith Law is a personal injury, family and criminal defense firm of significant renown.

Their services include litigation for:

  • Drug and alcohol crimes
  • Theft
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual offenses
  • Assault, homicide and vehicular homicide
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Trespassing

You can find them in their NC office between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, but before heading there, you might want to first discuss your case (in English or in Spanish) by giving them a call at (704) 931-5535, or by completing the contact form on the site linked above.

The only pricing information on their website is that they believe their prices are reasonable and competitive. While that is not much to go on, most online reviews seem to agree.

The same online reviews also suggest that the criminal defense attorneys at Jetton & Meredith Law are direct and to the point, without being cold or dispassionate about the cases they handle, and that their professionalism is evident from the very moment you get in touch with them. Since they have an impressive 4.9 stars rating on Google even after 333 reviews, this impression seems to be pretty much uniform across the huge majority of their client base.

Carolina Attorneys

Carolina Criminal Attorneys

Founded in 1995 by Bill Powers, Carolina Attorneys, also referred to as Powers Law Firm, PLLC, have their headquarters in Charlotte, but also serve the residents of South Carolina out of their Rock Hill office.

While the firm has branches devoted to family and personal injury law, their primary focus is on criminal defense, especially:

  • Homicide
  • Violent crimes
  • Drug-related crimes
  • DWI/DUI cases
  • License suspension
  • Domestic abuse

If you want to reach their main office, you can do so by dialing (704) 342-4357, but you can also schedule a free consultation at any time of the day, either by dialing their toll-free number – (877) 462-3841, or by providing your details in the contact form found on their website. Just remember, as is the case with other firms on this list, using their contact form doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship, so don’t share information that you find sensitive.

Their site makes it clear that they don’t charge an hourly rate for cases involving DWI/DUI or other criminal and traffic offenses, but that they work on a flat fee instead, however, they don’t disclose exactly what those fees are.

Even though we don’t have the exact numbers when it comes to their pricing, it seems to be at least adequate, that is, if perfect ratings on Google, Avvo and similar platforms are anything to go by. The reviewers describe them as tough and relentless when pursuing the case, but at the same time extremely respectful and kind with dealing with clients, which is probably what you’d want in an attorney, especially of this kind.

Johnson & Nicholson Law, PLLC

Johnson Law firm Logo

Founded in 2010 by spouses who met while working at different firms, Carnell Johnson and Elaine Nicholson, Johnson & Nicholson Law has since expanded to two other offices aside from their Charlotte headquarters, one in North Charleston, SC (only dealing with immigration law), and one in Morganton, NC.

Aside from immigration law they also practice family law, but their main area of interest remains criminal defense, meaning you might want to consider hiring them if you have to deal with:

  • DWI/DUI charges
  • Expungement, i.e. clearing your record of previous offenses
  • Theft charges
  • Drugs or alcohol-related charges
  • Murder or manslaughter charges

You can contact them using the more traditional methods, like dialing (704) 325-8057 to schedule a consultation, however, if you visit their website, aside from the typical contact form, you’ll also notice that they are giving you an option of contacting their virtual office through a private client portal. This gives you an option to avail yourself of their services regardless of where you are located in the US.

Like other firms on the list, they also chose not to disclose their prices, but they do offer a free initial consultation during which you can discuss their fee structure in detail. What we can say is that we didn’t find a single review that described them as being unreasonably pricey. Quite the opposite. Aside from praising their professionalism and compassion, some reviewers even mentioned their willingness to receive clients after hours, and even work pro bono in certain cases. With a perfect rating on Avvo and respectable 4.6 stars on Google, there doesn’t seem to be any red flags that potential clients should be aware of.

Gilles Law, PLLC

Gilles Criminal Law Logo

Established in 2014 by the great defense lawyer Gael Gilles, Gilles Law, PLLC currently has two active offices, one in Charlotte, North Carolina and one in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Unlike most of the law firms on this list, they practice criminal defense law exclusively.

Their small but dedicated legal team can help you if you are being charged with:

  • Assault
  • Bribery
  • Disorderly conduct
  • DWLR (driving while license revoked)
  • Armed robbery
  • Drug trafficking or possession
  • Extortion

If you need help with these, or a whole range of other felonies and misdemeanors, their office hours are from 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday and from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. However, before going there yourself, you might want to give them an idea of what you’ll be discussing either by using the contact form on their website, sending an email to [email protected], or dialing (980) 272-8438.

By now, it should come as no surprise that they don’t discuss their pricing directly, and that most of the info we have on their value for money comes from their online reviews, which are overwhelmingly positive. Aside from praising their competence, most reviewers had only good things to say about the actual personalities of Mr. Gilles and his colleagues, which, despite not being the most important consideration in these circumstances, is by no means irrelevant.


At CharlotteLaw we understand that being charged with a felony is not the greatest feeling in the world, which is why we reviewed the best criminal lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina to make sure you have the right man beside you in court.

That being said, you can’t go wrong with any of the law firms listed above. We hope our article was of great help to you, and good luck!

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