Christopher R. Clifton

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A.
Christopher R. Clifton
Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A.

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Appellate, White Collar Crimes; view more

Licensed in North Carolina since: 1995

Education: Wake Forest University School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2009

Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A.

200 West First Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Visit website


Criminal defense attorney and partner at the law firm of Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A., Christopher R. Clifton serves clients in and around Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He focuses his practice on federal appellate and post-conviction representation (section 2255), criminal conspiracy, criminal forfeiture, gaming law, DWI, white collar crimes and felonies.

Obtaining his B.A. in political science from North Carolina State University in 1992, Mr. Clifton earned his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1995, and he was licensed to practice the same year in North Carolina. He is also admitted before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th, 8th and 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Board-certified by the North Carolina State Bar in state and federal criminal law, Mr. Clifton has argued several cases before the state courts in North Carolina, and he has worked on federal cases in Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and New York. His previous experience as an assistant district attorney for Rowan County has honed his courtroom demeanor and strategic skills, which gives him an edge while handling serious felony cases. In his legal career, spanning more than two decades, he has worked on several complex high-profile cases with successful outcomes. 

Named among the Legal Elite by Business North Carolina magazine, Mr. Clifton is a dedicated attorney who fights tenaciously for the rights of his clients. He has a 10 out of 10 rating on Avvo and has been peer-review rated as Distinguished* through Martindale-Hubbell. 

Mr. Clifton is active in his legal circle and maintains memberships in several prominent organizations. He is a part of the:

· North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission

· North Carolina State Bar

· Federal Bar Association

· North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers

· Forsyth County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers Association

· Forsyth County Bar Association

· Chief Justice Joseph Branch American Inn of Court 

He is also a member of the Winston-Salem Rotary Club and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He spends the time outside of his legal practice writing articles and lecturing on topics such as criminal sentencing, gaming law and more.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.


Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Appellate, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

Focus areas

Appeals, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, White Collar Crime

  • 40% Criminal Defense
  • 30% Appellate
  • 20% Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • 10% Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

First Admitted: 1995, North Carolina

Professional Webpage:

Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • United States of America v. Sandako Meshawn Brandon
  • U.S. vs. Ernest Pitt (Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals)
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Member, Winston-Salem Rotary
  • Member, North Carolina Sentencing and Advisory Commission
  • Member, Carolinas Golf Association
  • Member, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law, North Carolina State Bar, 2005, 1900
Educational Background:
  • North Carolina State University, B.A., Major: Political Science, Minor: Spanish Language, Minor: Literature, 1992
  • Legal Elite, Business North Carolina Magazine, 2008
  • N.C. Super Lawyers, 2009 - 2016
  • Chair, Criminal Justice Section, North Carolina Bar Association, 2004 - 2006
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Procuring the Parsimony Provision of 3553(a) Through Expert and Lay Witnesses, Champion Magazine, 2009
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association, 2015
  • North Carolina, 1995
  • Member, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Chair, Criminal Justice Committee, North Carolina State Bar Association
  • Chief Justice, Joseph Branch Inn of Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • Member, Fee Dispute Committee, North Carolina State Bar
  • Member, North Carolina State Bar
  • Member, American Inns of Court
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • President, Federal Bar Association MDNC Chapter
  • Member, Forsyth County Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Forsyth County Bar Association
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

Office location for Christopher R. Clifton

200 West First Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-515-6552


15 Years Super Lawyers
1 Year Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2009

Top Lists

Top 100: North Carolina Super Lawyers: 2013

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