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Joseph E. Houchin

Equity Partner

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Phone: 919-747-8380

Fax: 919-882-1222

Email: Email Me

Joe is a criminal defense attorney who represents clients in State and Federal court.  He has successfully defended clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors including drug possession and trafficking offenses, status and firearm allegations, violent crimes, DWI, and vehicular death cases.  As part of the firm’s white collar practice, Joe represents individuals charged with corporate fraud and those facing IRS criminal investigation.  

Joe also maintains a business law practice representing the needs of North Carolina employers and entrepreneurs. He focuses on representing business owners who have been penalized by the NC Industrial Commission and other agencies for noncompliance, fraud, and/or contempt. Joe also routinely represents businesses in litigation matters, contract negotiation, and insurance disputes. Previously, he worked with a civil litigation firm focusing on the defense of general liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial matters. In addition to being admitted to practice in all State and Federal District Courts in North Carolina, Joe has successfully represented clients before a variety of administrative bodies and professional licensing boards including the United States Department of Labor, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the North Carolina Code Qualifications Board, and at public university hearings. 

A graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Joe served as Chairman of the Ole Miss Moot Court Board where he was a member of the National Moot Court team and received honors for written and oral advocacy. Upon graduation, he was inducted into the Order of the Barristers. He received his undergraduate degree in Government and International Policy from George Mason University where he was a four year student-athlete and captain of the Swimming & Diving team. 

Joe served as a judicial intern for Justice Paul M. Newby of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and completed the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, conducted by the Alliance Defending Freedom. Joe is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section.

A sample of recent successful outcomes include:

  • Not guilty verdicts following jury and bench trials for clients charged with DWIs, drug offenses, and assault charges.
  • Represented tax professional facing criminal investigation by the IRS. At the conclusion of the case, the investigation was closed by the government without criminal charges ever being filed. 
  • Achieved acquittals and civil awards for clients charged with criminal conduct or facing government suppression of constitutionally protected free speech.
  • Negotiated numerous voluntary dismissals of criminal charges based on insufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence or law enforcement error.
  • Won numerous court dismissals of criminal charges following a challenge to the sufficiency of the State’s evidence.
  • Collectively saved North Carolina business owners millions of dollars in civil penalties and administrative fines sought by North Carolina State agencies.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • Business Law
  • Civil Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina


  • University of Mississippi School of Law, Oxford, Mississippi
    • J.D.
  • George Mason University
    • B.A.
    • Major: Government and International Politics

Representative Cases


  • Uninsured Claims 101: Contempt, Penalties and Employee Misclassification Legislation, 20th Annual NC Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference

Honors and Awards

  • John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, runner- up
  • Daniel Coker Horton & Bell Appellate Advocacy Competition, winner
  • Blackstone Fellow, Alliance Defense Fund
  • University of Mississippi Moot Court Board, Chairman
  • National Moot Court Team Member

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Section 

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