David Carlson was born and raised in Lancaster County in Virginia’s
Northern Peninsula. He graduated from The University of Notre Dame in
1976. In 1980 David received his Juris Doctor Law degree from the University
of Richmond and was admitted to the Virginia State Bar.
After graduation David had the Honor of serving as the Executive Assistant
and Counsel to Virginia Governor John N. Dalton. At the time he was only
25, making him the youngest ever to hold that position.
In 1982 Mr. Carlson entered private practice and has devoted his time to
diligently representing clients throughout the entire Commonwealth of
Virginia. He is admitted to practice in all State and Federal courts in
Virginia including the Eastern and Western Districts for The United States
District Court, The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit,
as well as the United States Supreme Court.
David is an experienced aggressive trial attorney who specializes in Criminal
Defense. For 34 years he has honed his courtroom skills and is always
completely prepared to defend his clients’ rights. His work ethic
and meticulous attention to detail and research have made him a highly
sought after attorney throughout The Commonwealth of Virginia.
Why David Carlson Chose A Career In Criminal Law
When I first went into private practice I was very lucky and privileged
to land a spot with D. J. (Nick) Esposito, who at the time was probably
the premiere trial attorney in all of central Virginia. I had the opportunity,
under Nick’s watchful eye, to be exposed to domestic, personal injury
and criminal defense cases early in my career. It was obvious to both
of us that I excelled as a criminal defense attorney and having Nick Esposito
as a mentor made me a more effective advocate and solidified my decision
to specialize in that area of the law.
Why David Carlson's Firm Is Set Apart From Other Criminal Defense Firms
I believe there are several characteristics that set Carlson & Collier
apart from many other firms, not just here in Central Virginia, but across
We are not a 9 to 5 law firm – we are available to our clients in
the evenings as well as on the weekend. A client is able to reach one
of our attorneys whenever there is an emergency.
We pride ourselves on preparation, preparation, preparation. Regardless
of what type of case we are handling for our client, we will know all
of the facts and law relevant to the defense of that particular client.
We also make sure our clients are exceptionally educated as to all facets
of their case.
At Carlson & Collier, we legitimately care about our clients and their
families. We do our very best to minimize the impact of a criminal prosecution
on both the individual and their loved ones.
About A Case That David Carlson Is Particularly Proud Of
I recently had a lady I represented who was charged with assault on a police
officer. In Virginia this is a felony that carries a mandatory minimum
6 month jail sentence – which means the court can NOT suspend any
part of that 6 months. Further complicating her situation was the fact
that she was an employee of a local school system and pursuant to Virginia
law she was required to be suspended because she was charged with a felony.
I sent an associate out to scour the neighborhood where the alleged assault
on the officer occurred and, after a week of knocking on doors, we were
able to locate 3 independent witnesses who verified our client’s
version of the facts. As it turned out, the police officer was the aggressor
and in fact assaulted our client.
The charge was dismissed and our client was reinstated by the school system
with all back pay for the time she was suspended. The police officer was
dealt with by internal affairs.
I think going the extra mile made a huge difference in this case. Without
the independent witnesses, it would have been our client’s word
against the officer’s and I think everyone would agree that most
judges are going to come down on the side with the officer. Believing
our client was telling us the truth and being willing to invest the extra
time to locate those witnesses obviously was the difference in an acquittal
versus a conviction.
The Steps That David Carlson Takes To Prepare for Every Case
We take the same steps to prepare for all of our cases regardless of the
level of difficulty. We thoroughly investigate all relevant facts pertaining
to the case at hand, fully research any new cases that may be on point
for our defense and have our client and any witnesses fully prepared for
the case in the courtroom.
How David Carlson Views His Relationship With His Clients
My role in the attorney-client relationship is to be the full and complete
confidant of each and every client that walks in the front door of our
office. I go out of my way to make the client as comfortable as possible
in discussing their case with them.
Why David Is Different Than Other Defense Lawyers
I believe we have been very successful in making our clients fully confident
that we are going to be completely invested in their defense from the
very beginning through the conclusion of their case. Communicating with
clients frequently throughout our representation is very helpful in successfully
establishing the bond that is necessary for a successful result.
The Benefits Of Having David
Experience means so, so much. I look back at my skill level when I first
started compared to where I am today and it is literally night and day.
Being able to look at set of facts associated with a case and in a short
time being able to assess what defenses are viable is one of the most
important assets of experience. Having over 34 years of courtroom experience
has allowed me to hone my trial skills to a higher level.
The Most Rewarding Aspect of David Carlson's Job
Being able to make a difference in a client’s life with a favorable
result is by far the most rewarding aspect of this job.
The Advice David Carlson Will Give To Every Client
Be honest – always be honest with us – otherwise you are tying
one hand behind us right from the beginning. If we don’t know the
full truth, we can’t possibly be fully effective in protecting the client.