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James Rutherford - Wilmington Criminal Attorney

Wilmington Criminal Defense Lawyer

Certified Specialist Back by Nearly 15 Years of Experience

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you are in a race against the clock to fight for your freedom and future. Law enforcement officers and the prosecutor have already started building a case against you, and they have the backing of government resources. You need qualified Wilmington attorneys in NC to defend your rights.

What is a criminal lawyer?

Those who practice criminal law are also known as criminal lawyers, criminal defense attorneys, and public defenders. criminal attorneys represent those accused of committing crimes, whether they are individuals, organizations, or entities. Attorneys who handle criminal cases have a wide range of experience ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes, and drug crimes to driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), theft, embezzlement, and fraud.

How to choose a criminal defense lawyer?

James F. Rutherford, Attorney at Law, P.A. is a certified specialist in criminal law, certified by the North Carolina State Bar. This means that he is well-reviewed by peers, took additional high-level training in this specialty after school, has extensive experience in criminal law, and passed a rigorous exam to become a certified expert in the field. In order to maintain this elite certification, our Wilmington NC criminal defense attorney stays at the leading edge of criminal defense. Don’t hesitate to find out how our powerhouse defender can guard your reputation, finances, and future. To see why our clients choose us when they're looking for the best criminal attorney at law near them, read our criminal lawyer reviews.

Call us today to schedule your FREE initial consultation with our Wilmington attorneys in NC!

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Our Clients Share Their Experience

  • “James listened with intention, developed a strategy, thoroughly prepared me and completely made me feel assured that justice was on my side. ”

    Susan W.

  • “He went above and beyond his duties as an attorney and handled my case with skill and tact.”


  • “Outstanding professional, you're in great hands from the start.”


  • “James is always willing to go the extra mile for his clients.”


  • “He stepped up and did an outstanding job.”


  • “He was always in great communication with us, organized, and reliable, which gave us the utmost confidence in him.”


  • “He was able to get it dismissed and also represented my father who also won his case.”


  • “You could see it on his face he actually cares about children in the school and their rights as individuals.”


  • “He prepared us both for the proceedings and made the experience as stress-free as possible.”

    Kara B.

  • “James Rutherford is the by far the best attorney to have to see you through your case.”


About James F. Rutherford

Your Wilmington Criminal Defense Attorney

From the start of his career, James has had a passion for advocating for the rights of people who face the criminal justice system. When your rights, career, and permanent record are all jeopardized, he knows how to get results, and he has proven this talent and resolve time and again. He has the experience, tireless advocacy, and expertise you need. In fact, he is AV Preeminent® rated by his peers for his exceptional ethical standards as well as his legal skill and successes.

From 2013 to 2015, he has been included on the list of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠.

Not only is he certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a specialist in criminal law, recognized by Super Lawyers as a rising star, but he is also certified to administer standardized field sobriety tests by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. An especially qualified DWI defense attorney and criminal lawyer, James dedicates his practice to those in and around Wilmington, NC.

What Sets Our Defense Firm Apart

Hire an Attorney Who Cares About Your Unique Case

  • AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
  • 14+ Years Experience
  • Field Sobriety Test Certified
  • National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Get the Expert Defense You Deserve
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James Rutherford, Attorney at Law

508 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Phone: (910) 595-1377

Regular Hours
  • Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm
  • Saturday & Sunday Closed
Service Area:

and surrounding cities and counties.