The Chetson Firm, located in Raleigh, is a full-service criminal defense law firm, recognized by peers and ratings agencies as exceptionally skilled. The Firm represents people facing criminal charges and investigations in trial courts, at the appellate level, and at licensing boards and related quasi-criminal civil or arbitration hearings, such as SafeSport or Title IX hearings.
From its central location in downtown Raleigh near the Wake County Justice Center, the Firm defends people throughout North Carolina, and has tried or represented clients from Charlotte to Elizabeth City.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Damon Chetson graduated law school from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2009. After a brief stint working with colleagues at the Wake County Public Defender’s office where he secured a not-guilty to robbery charges in his first trial while still a law student, Mr. Chetson founded his own firm where he has represented more than 1,200 clients in criminal cases large and small during the past decade.
A trained pilot with more than 600 hours of flight time in single-engine planes, Mr. Chetson lives with his wife, Catherine, and their two bulldogs in Wake County. He has been a proud Tarheel for more than a decade, having previously worked in public policy in Washington, DC and Phoenix, AZ where he worked on issues related to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex.
One of his earliest memories is of his father, a school teacher, being called before a federal Grand Jury to testify about a former employer who had engaged in tax fraud. Mr. Chetson understands the terror that people face when confronted with criminal investigations and need to provide affordable, aggressive defense in all cases.
Mr. Chetson has a special interest in criminal justice reform, and a belief that the United States over-criminalizes human conduct and destroys communities, tears apart families. Unjust policies result in profound societal conflict. He believes that the death penalty is a moral atrocity, and life without parole is equally heinous.
Mr. Chetson understands, speaks, reads, and writes German, at a B2 CEFR/GER level, including law-specific terms.
- University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League), History, BA, Philadelphia, 1994
- University of Virginia, European History (German), MA, Charlottesville, 1997
- University of North Carolina, Law, JD, Chapel Hill, 2009
Legal & Professional Experience
- Owner, The Chetson Firm, PLLC, 2009-present
- Felony Law Clerk, Wake County Office of the Public Defender, 2008-2009
- Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney, Eastern District of North Carolina, 2011-present
- Panel Attorney, Office of the Capital Defender, North Carolina, 2017-present
- Public Policy, Washington, DC, 1997-2006
Criminal Defense Practice Areas
- Criminal Defense
- Federal Criminal Defense
- SafeSport Defense
- Drug Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- North Carolina Bar Association’s General Practitioner’s Guide to Criminal Law – Search & Seizure Chapter (2016)
- Perfect 10 and Contributory Liability: Can Search Engines Survive?, 9 N.C. J.L. & Tech. On. 1 (2007)
Certifications & Specializations
- Board Certified Specialist in State & Federal Criminal Law, North Carolina State Bar, Board of Legal Specialization (2016)
- Super Lawyer (2021, 2020, Rising Star, 2015-2019)
- Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1972
Born and raised in Ocean City, New Jersey, Dena Reese-Booze, the firm’s paralegal, resides in Wake County with her husband and children. She previously served as a courtroom clerk in the New Jersey state court system’s family law courts. Ms. Reese-Booze ensures that the Firm’s clients are treated with dignity and compassion. Ms. Reese-Booze makes certain that clients receive timely communication about the status of their case, assists in the preparation of legal filings, and oversees the firm’s case load.