Best Wilmington Criminal Lawyers

The Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Wilmington, NC

Finding yourself in need of a criminal defense attorney can be an incredibly stressful and scary experience. But having the right legal counsel on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Wilmington, North Carolina, it’s important to find an attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable, and who will fight aggressively on your behalf.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top-rated and most successful criminal defense attorneys practicing in the Wilmington area. These lawyers have proven track records of achieving positive results for their clients facing criminal charges like DUI, drug offenses, assault, domestic violence, sex crimes, and more. Read on to learn more about these highly-skilled legal advocates and how they can help with your criminal matter.

Thomas R. Sallenger, White & Allen, P.A.

With over 25 years of experience, Thomas R. Sallenger is one of the most respected criminal defense lawyers in Wilmington. He handles cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious violent felonies in both state and federal court.

Sallenger is known for his meticulous trial preparation and fierce courtroom advocacy. He thoroughly investigates the details of each case and develops a defense strategy focused on getting charges reduced or dismissed. Former clients praise his straight-talking, compassionate approach.

In addition to criminal law, Sallenger has extensive knowledge of DWI/DUI defense. He uses technical experts to challenge breath and blood test results, field sobriety tests, and other evidence. Sallenger also represents clients whose licenses have been revoked.

James R. Lea, Lea & Hamrick, PLLC

James R. Lea boasts over 20 years of criminal defense experience in the Wilmington area. On his firm’s website, he proclaims “We Fight to Win!” and backs this up with an aggressive, client-centered approach.

Lea handles a wide array of misdemeanor and felony cases. He is also one of the most sought-after DUI/DWI lawyers in the region, using creative legal strategies to get charges reduced or dismissed. Former clients describe him as a tough litigator who works tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome.

In addition to DUI defense, Lea has extensive experience with drug charges, theft crimes, juvenile cases, and federal charges. He is also one of the few local attorneys qualified to handle death penalty cases.

Woody White, Woody White Law, PLLC

As a former state prosecutor, Woody White brings a unique perspective to his criminal defense practice. He knows the ins and outs of how the prosecution operates, which helps him build strong defense strategies.

White handles cases ranging from traffic infractions to murder. He has successfully defended clients against DUI, drug trafficking, weapons charges, sex offenses, and other serious violent crimes.

Previous clients praise White’s legal knowledge and skill in the courtroom. He thoroughly investigates each case, identifies weaknesses in the prosecution’s position, and fights tenaciously for the best possible outcome for his clients.

Scott C. Jack, The Law Office of Scott C. Jack

Scott C. Jack is an experienced trial lawyer who isn’t afraid to bring tough cases to trial when it’s in the client’s best interest. His proven litigation skills have resulted in many not guilty verdicts over the years.

Jack handles all types of criminal matters including misdemeanors, traffic cases, DUIs, drug crimes, theft, juvenile cases, and violent felonies. He also represents professionals before licensing boards.

In addition to trial skills, Jack places a strong emphasis on clear communication and keeping clients involved in their defense. Former clients describe him as a caring, compassionate advocate who works tirelessly on their behalf.

Leslie Robinson, Leslie Robinson Law

As a former prosecutor, Leslie Robinson brings a balanced perspective along with tenacious advocacy skills. She handles cases ranging from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies and will take cases to trial when warranted.

Robinson has extensive experience defending DUI and traffic cases. She knows how to effectively challenge breathalyzer results and field sobriety tests. For drug charges, Robinson has had success getting evidence suppressed and charges reduced or dismissed.

Clients appreciate Robinson’s straight-talking, honest approach. She doesn’t make promises she can’t keep and works diligently to negotiate the best possible resolution depending on the circumstances of each case. Her experience on both sides of criminal law is a tremendous asset.

J. Albert Clyburn, Clyburn Law, PLLC

Known for his passionate, aggressive defense style, J. Albert Clyburn has protected the rights of countless clients during his 25+ years as a criminal defense lawyer. He handles everything from minor misdemeanors to serious violent felony cases.

Clyburn has successfully defended clients against complex federal charges like drug trafficking, weapons violations, fraud, and other white-collar crimes. For state charges, he has achieved many not guilty verdicts in cases ranging from DUI to murder.

Clients appreciate Clyburn’s straight-talking, honest approach. He works tirelessly to understand the details of each case and build the strongest defense. Clyburn is also known for giving back through his compassionate work with indigent clients.


Facing criminal charges can be an overwhelming, isolating experience. But having the right lawyer by your side can help even the odds. The criminal defense attorneys profiled here have the skills, experience, and determination to be exceptional advocates for clients facing charges in Wilmington, NC.

Take some time to research these and other top-rated lawyers in the area. Schedule consultations to discuss your case details and find an attorney who you feel comfortable with. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can analyze the charges against you, advise you of your rights and options, and build a defense focused on achieving the best possible outcome. With the stakes so high, it’s critical to have skilled legal counsel fighting for your freedom.