Partner Attorney Raymond Tarlton

Raymond Tarlton has over eight years of experience, first as a state court prosecutor and then a criminal defense attorney. Raymond has represented and currently represents clients facing first-degree murder charges, including several high-profile first-degree murder cases that have received national media attention. Additionally, Raymond has handled over one hundred thirty federal criminal cases–from white collar economic crimes and public corruption allegations to armed bank robbery and international drug conspiracies–at various stages in the proceedings, including trial by jury and appeals. Raymond has argued in the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on a complex civil rights issue raising substantial constitutional concerns. Raymond has represented people in federal post-conviction 2255 habeas corpus relief hearings. He regularly works with other attorneys on cases and has defended folks from all walks of life facing federal and state charges ranging from traffic citations & political protest-related misdemeanors to international cocaine trafficking conspiracy allegations, tax fraud, public corruption, first-degree murder, and criminal cases in the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Appalled by the current and deleterious federal system of mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, Raymond recently assisted as pro bono local counsel for lawyers from various international law firms to help their efforts to petition the Obama Administration for clemency relief on behalf of clients serving decades and sometimes even life sentences for non-violent drug offenses as part of the national Clemency Project 2014. Raymond filed one clemency petition, that was largely prepared by brilliant volunteer lawyers, that President Obama granted in 2016 for a non-violent drug conviction client, which commuted a 30-year federal prison sentence to effectively time served.

Raymond also represents folks in civil cases on claims that his clients were wrongfully injured, their property was damaged by negligence or malfeasance, or are facing litigation after business deals deteriorated or adverse employment issues arose.

A Raleigh native, Raymond graduated from Broughton High School. He completed his undergraduate work at Wake Forest University, where he majored in philosophy and developed a deep appreciation for our natural rights secured by the Constitution. After graduating, he immersed himself in the study of law at Campbell University. Raymond graduated from law school in the top five percent of his class. He passed the Bar and went to work as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County. There he prosecuted and tried over a hundred criminal cases in the District Court and several in the Superior Court.

Raymond left his job as a prosecutor and went into private practice, where he worked regularly with a former federal prosecutor and represented folks from all walks of life on a wide range of cases, including minor traffic tickets, DWI/DUIs, felony DWI, revoked license charges, alcohol and drug offenses, assault, theft, sex offenses, federal firearm and drug trafficking offenses, export controls on restricted technology, and Medicaid provider regulations. He also has defended individuals and business owners in civil lawsuits and brought civil claims on behalf of people who have been harmed by wrongful, deceptive, or otherwise irresponsible conduct. Finally, he aggressively litigated serious issues involving violations of cherished constitutional rights and civil liberties, especially in the amorphous realm of civil commitment law, including federal commitment trials brought against people accused of being sexually dangerous under the Adam Walsh Act.

Recently, Raymond served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the Eastern District of North Carolina. He represented people either too poor to hire a lawyer or folks who had otherwise run out of liquid assets while fighting off civil and regulatory proceedings before a federal criminal case was lodged against them. His cases and other cases he assisted on included defending against accusations of high-jacking, bank robbery, manslaughter, federal firearms violations, Medicare/healthcare fraud, prescription fraud involving health care professionals, Sherman Act anti-trust/bid-rigging violations, Clean Air Act violations, tax fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement from a financial institution, bankruptcy fraud, mortgage fraud, embezzlement & larceny from a federally insured employer, federal gambling offenses, immigration offenses, child porn possession and production, SORNA failure to register offenses, threats against the President, retaliation against a federal official, and international drug trafficking conspiracies. Raymond has experience working with experts to help defend against charges and, if needed, develop mitigation for sentencing, especially using experts such as forensic accountants in fraud cases and forensic psychologists or psychiatrists in delicate sex offense cases.

Raymond is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Downtown Raleigh. He enjoys kayaking, snowboarding, cycling, traveling, and spending time with his dog.

Lawyer Raymond Tarlton


  • Former Assistant Wake County Prosecutor
  • Former Assistant Federal Defender Eastern District of NC



  • NC State Bar
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US District Court EDNC
  • US District Court MDNC


  • Wake County Bar
  • U.S. District Court, EDNC, Local Criminal Rules Committee, 2015-2016
  • Federal Bar Association EDNC, Chair of Publicity Committee
  • North Carolina Advocates For Justice
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • NC IDS First Degree & Capital Murder Cases : Roster of Private Attorneys for Appointments
  • NC IDS Non-Capital Appeals: Roster of Private Attorneys for Appointments