Charles M. Rittgers

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio

Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
Charles M. Rittgers
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, DUI-DWI; view more

Licensed in Ohio since: 2010

Education: University of Cincinnati College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2022

Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima

3734 Eastern Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45226 Visit website


Charles M. Rittgers is a trial lawyer with a record of success in criminal defense, DUI, and injury cases. Charlie's record includes not guilty jury verdicts in numerous cases in which no plea bargain was offered by the prosecutor, including murder, DUI, and domestic violence. In injury cases, Charlie is willing to take cases to trial that most lawyers would settle. For example, despite having a $1,000,000 offer from an insurance company to settle a motorcycle crash case, Charlie and his client refused the offer, took the case to a summary jury trial, and received a verdict of $9,000,000.

In the last five years alone, 2019 through 2023, Charlie successfully helped clients receive maximum value in a variety of cases including settlements of $7 million, $7 million (policy limit), $5 million, $3 million, $3 million (policy limit), $2.8 million, $2.75 million, $2.1 million (policy limit), $1.1 million (policy limit), and multiple $1 million policy limit recoveries. 

Charlie is willing to go to trial when most lawyers would settle. For example, Matt Nakajima and Charlie turned down a $25,000 offer and received a $3 million jury verdict on a difficult case in Hamilton County, Ohio. In the same year, Charlie and his father, Charles H. Rittgers, garnered international attention after obtaining a not guilty jury verdict in an aggravated murder case involving a false confession in Warren County, Ohio.

Charlie has tried difficult jury trials in state and federal courts in multiple states. For example, in 2023, Charlie went to trial with Lindsay Lawrence on a zero offer medical malpractice case in Campbell County, Kentucky and received a $1 million jury verdict for their client.

Charlie is a certified member of the Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members. He was selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list by his peers who were asked to select the best attorneys under 40 years old. As a result of his experience, Charlie has appeared on national and local television shows and radio broadcasts. He has also served as moderator for local political debates, guest speaker to college graduate students, and featured speaker in educational webcasts for attorneys across the nation. Charlie was named to the Top 40 Under 40 by the American Trial Lawyers Association and Top 25 Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.

Charlie graduated from Lebanon High School and continued his education at Dartmouth College where he was a starting quarterback in the Ivy League. Following college, he worked in the high paced environment of investment banking in New York City at Bank of America before returning home to attend law school at the University of Cincinnati. During law school Charlie worked for the Honorable Michael R. Barrett at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. He was also on law review. 

In his spare time, Charlie enjoys watching and playing sports. Charlie has served on the Alumni Planning Committee and the Law Review Alumni Advisory Board for the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He has also served as an alumni interviewer for Dartmouth College. He is an active member in a number of local bar associations as well as the Ohio Association for Justice and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. His wife, Samantha, is an attorney at RRN.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

Focus areas

Animal Bites, Arrest & Arraignment, Assault, Assault & Battery, Brain Injury, Construction Accident, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Dram Shop Laws, Drug & Alcohol Violations, Expungement, False Accusations, Felony, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Overdrawn Bank Account, Parole, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Probation, Sex Offenses, Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Tax Evasion, Theft, Traffic Violations, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death

  • 30% Criminal Defense
  • 40% Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 30% Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI

First Admitted: 2010, Ohio

Professional Webpage:

  • Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Certified Member
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars list
  • Top 40 Under 40 by the American Trial Lawyers Association
Educational Background:
  • Lebanon High School
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., 2006
White Papers:
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Pro Bono.  Represented the Estate of Khloe Pitts - a three year old - who was tragically killed as she walked in a crosswalk with her mother and father after leaving the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights.  Investigated potential liability against the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Police, and ODOT.  Settled the case for the insurance policy limits for the automobile and helped the family through the criminal, probate and civil process.  Despite the recovery from the insurance policy, did not take a fee as counsel for Khloe's estate. , 2017
  • Represented a 17 year old boy who was charged as an adult for Murder pro bono after being requested to help by several people who knew the true character of the defendant.  Acquited of the Murder charge after a jury trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court., 2013
  • Freestore Foodbank service day with OAJ, 2019
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Spoke to bar members on Annie Law OVI update, Speaker, Ohio OVI Update, Warren County Bar Association, 2017
  • Spoke to Kentucky Trial Lawyers through the KJA about driving value for injury victims in plaintiff cases., Speaker, Find the Trial Lawyer in You, Northern Kentucky Bar Association, Law, Plaintiff Lawyers, 2022
  • Spoke to a group of northern Kentucky and southern Ohio attorneys about the most common documents necessary to fight for maximum recovery in injury and death cases.  Shared the most common documents related to injury practice.  Gave a primer on anchoring and thinking in large numbers.  Helped educate and combat subrogation recovery., Keynote Speaker, Obtaining Maximum Recovery in Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, The Lawyers Club of Cincinnati, Lawyers, Trial Lawyers, Injury, 2019
Representative Clients:
  • Represented David Brown Jr. who was indicted on several sex offense charges by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.  The only plea offer was a sex offense felony that required sexual registration. The jury was out a short period of time and returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts. The case received a lot of local news before and after the trial as David was a local teacher., 2019
  • Represented a sheet metal company on a contingency fee against a prior business accountant and national accounting firm.  Recovered $1.8 million., 2023
  • Represented Brooke Skylar Richardson who was accused of Aggravated Murder, Tampering with Evidence, Involuntary Manslaughter, Abuse of a Corpse, and Child Endangering.  The case made national and internationl news and was streamed live around the globe.  Best plea offer was more than a decade in prison.  Skylar was acquitted of the serious counts and convicted of Abuse of a Corpse which is eligible to be removed from her record. She was placed on probation. , 2019
  • Represented Lynda Sadowski with firm partner, Matt Nakajima, in a jury trial after she fell at Jack's Casino and fractured her knee cap.  The highest offer before the trial was $25,000.  We recevied a jury verdict of $3,000,000.00 thought to be the highest in the history of Hamilton County for a similar injury., 2019
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Charlie and his client requested a plea to a low level felony on an F2 Felonious Assault case.  Prosecutor refused all plea requests.  Case was taken to a jury trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court and defendant was found guilty of misdemeanor assault - saving him a felon conviction, permenant record, and prison., 2019
  • Hung jury for a client in a quadruple murder trial in Butler County Ohio death penalty case with no offers made by the prosecution., 2022
  • $6 million policy limit settlement for a family of a young man who was tragically killed by a commercial van. , 2024
  • $1 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in Kentucky.  Before trial there was no offer made to settle by the defense., 2023
  • Not guilty jury verdict in Public Indecency trial after no real plea bargain was offered by the prosecutor., 2018
  • Policy limits settlement of $3,000,000 for a family of a young boy who died as a result of a landscape truck driver's negligence.  Federal Court in Kentucky., 2019
  • $3,000,000 jury verdict in Hamilton County, Ohio after a $25,000 top offer on a slip and fall case.  , 2019
  • $5,000,000.00 truck crash settlement working with co-counsel in Butler / Warren County crash case., 2018
  • $2,100,000.00 partial settlement of wrongful death against nursing home, 2019
  • $500,000 settlement for policy limits in a farm burn accident after insurance initially denied all coverage to family, 2018
  • $1,100,000.00 settlement for policy limits in a non-death motorcycle crash, 2018
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Warren County Bar Association, 2019
  • Warren County Ohio Bar Association, 2024
  • Member of American Association for Justice (AAJ), 2024
  • Trustee Ohio Association of Justice, 2024
  • Ohio Association of Justice - PAC Member, 2019
  • Cincinnati Bar Association - Scheduled Speaker, 2019
  • Ohio Association of Justice , 2018
  • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Committee Member, 2019
  • Ohio Association of Justice - Scheduled Speaker, 2019
  • Warren County Bar Association, 2018
  • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Committee Member, 2018
  • Law Review Alumni Advisory Board for the University of Cincinnati College of Law

Office location for Charles M. Rittgers

3734 Eastern Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45226

Phone: 513-496-0134


2 Years Super Lawyers
10 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2023 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2013 - 2022

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