Kevin Marcilliat

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Managing Partner
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Phone: 877-265-5042

Dedicated to Criminal Defense
Since Day One

I tried two criminal cases when I was still a law student, and I won not-guilty verdicts on both (you can start handling misdemeanors during your third year). I tell you this not because I think I’m special, but so you can see that I was dedicated to becoming a criminal defense attorney since day one.

Perhaps the greatest benefit in my continued development as a successful advocate for my clients is the incredible mentors that I have had along the way. By the time I graduated from law school, I had already interned for the largest public defender’s office in North Carolina (the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office) and then for the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh. Upon my start in private practice, I was assigned to defend my first felony case the first week on the job.

Today, I work for Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, and I would not want to work anywhere else. I’ve handled hundreds of criminal cases in more than 60 counties across the State, as well as all three of North Carolina’s federal districts. I have achieved successful results for clients in the full range of criminal cases, including driving while impaired (DWI/DUI) offenses, felony drug charges, embezzlement, assaults, sex crimes and federal offenses. I also maintain a busy white-collar practice defending individuals and businesses from a variety of state/federal government investigations by the IRS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Medicaid Investigations Division (MID), and others.

I Am the Only Thing Standing Between My Client and a Jail Cell

I come from a family of lawyers. You could say it’s a tradition. Most of the lawyers in my family are “big firm” lawyers – commercial lending and business transactions. But I took a different path. In law school, I fell in love with the courtroom. What drives me most about criminal law is that as a defense lawyer, I am often the only person standing between my client and a jail cell. It is a great privilege to be able to defend people facing the power and authority of the government. It is my responsibility to level the playing field in a justice system that is often slanted against the defendant from the very beginning, and that is a responsibility that I take very seriously.

For As Long As I Practice Law, I Will Be a Criminal Defense Lawyer

I picked up and moved my entire family to Raleigh for one reason: to work for Marcilliat & Mills PLLC. At this firm, I knew I would have the opportunity to handle high-profile cases, from drug trafficking to murder, and I knew I would be able to do so in a collaborative environment with other talented attorneys and staff.

The truth is that for as long as I practice law, I intend to be a criminal defense attorney. There is no doubt about that in my mind. I intend to do this for as long as I can.

My Greatest Achievements

Given the huge number of criminal cases we’ve handled over the last several years, it truly is difficult to pinpoint one case that I would consider to be my “greatest achievement” in the practice of law. One case that has really stuck with me was a client who was falsely accused of abusing his severely disabled wife by an estranged family member who was seeking to ruin my client’s reputation. In actuality, my client was his wife’s sole caretaker and confidant, and she completely relied on him for all the basic necessities of daily living. When my client initially hired me, he was not only facing serious felony charges but he had also been banned from his own home. After completing the type of thorough investigation that the police should have completed before issuing felony charges, I submitted my findings to the District Attorney’s Office, and the charges were promptly dismissed. Reuniting that family will always be one of my proudest moments in the practice of law.

A few other achievements of which I’m proud to include securing the dismissal of a Possession of Cocaine charge (which saved my client’s career in the military), and a verdict of not guilty on a DWI charge despite my client’s .08 BAC.

Kevin Marcilliat Interviewed on CBS North Carolina

Kevin discusses the infamous cough syrup case:

Case Results

  • Below-Guideline Sentence in the United States District Court for Southern District of Florida (“SDFL”) in Miami for a client convicted of a multi-million dollar access device fraud and money laundering conspiracy. This was a pro-hac vice appearance where my client was prosecuted federally in both North Carolina and Florida. After a successful motion to transfer venue to SDFL, the judge agreed to consolidate both cases for one judgment and then granted my motion for a downward variance, resulting in a 5-year sentence when the client was facing up to 32-years imprisonment.
  • Hung Jury Leading to Dismissal on a drug trafficking case in Wake County Superior Court. My client received multiple pounds of marijuana delivered to him by undercover police who had intercepted the package containing the drugs. After a jury trial in Wake County Superior Court, the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, voting 9-3 in favor of Not Guilty. Ultimately, the State elected not to retry the case and it was dismissed.
  • Mortgage Fraud Charge Dismissed in a complex financial crime case in Wake County where our client, the owner of a real estate company, was charged with misappropriating more than $200,000 in mortgage settlement funds during a real estate transaction and was facing at least 5 years in prison on Class C felony charges in Wake County Superior Court.
  • Jury Verdict of Not Guilty on a charge of Driving While Impaired in Wake County Superior Court. My client was charged with DWI after a single-car accident where my client told police he was driving the car and he registered greater than .08 on a breath test. My client and his girlfriend both testified at trial that my client was not actually driving the car at the time of the accident, and the jury acquitted my client after only 6 minutes of deliberations.
  • Fraud Charges Dismissed on a prosecution for Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretenses in New Hanover County Superior Court. My client, who had significant mental limitations, was charged with felony financial crimes after he unknowingly facilitated the theft of real estate closing funds by an overseas hacker, who stole more than $30,000 from the victim and used our unwitting client to process the proceeds. After providing compelling evidence of the client’s actual innocence, the District Attorney dismissed all charges against the client.
  • No Charges were filed in a federal fraud investigation by the FBI in Charlotte after a successful proffer session with the US Attorney where we demonstrated our client’s factual innocence
  • Rape Charges Dismissed in Richmond County Superior Court after providing evidence that our client’s former girlfriend had fabricated sexual assault allegations against our client
  • Robbery with Dangerous Weapon Charge Dismissed in Richmond County Superior Court after successfully convincing the assigned prosecutor that my 16-year-old client was not involved in an alleged attempt to rob an illegal gambling operation
  • No charges were filed in two separate state murder investigations for the same client, who was simultaneously being prosecuted in federal court for fraud-related offenses.
  • First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed after successfully convincing the District Attorney that there were inconsistencies in the investigation when my client was charged. He lawfully used his concealed carry weapon in self-defense. After I presented evidence of my client’s actual innocence, the District Attorney dismissed the case.

Areas Of Practice

  • 100% Criminal Defense
  • DWI
  • Drug Charges
  • Domestic Violence
  • Theft Charges
  • Traffic Violations
  • Assault Charges
  • Federal Charges

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 2012
  • U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina, 2013
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 2014


  • Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Buies Creek, North Carolina
  • J.D. – 2012
    Honors: Order of Old Kivett
    Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
  • B.S. cum laude – 2009
    Major: Accounting

Honors and Awards

  • ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, NY Regional: Best Advocate, 10th Place, 2012
  • Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition: Finalist and Best Brief, 2010

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Member, 2012 – Present
  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Member, 2012 – Present
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • 10th Judicial District Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • The Law Office of Heather R. Klein, Associate Attorney, 2012 – 2014
  • Federal Public Defender’s Office, E.D.N.C., Fall Intern, 2011
Disclaimer: The listed cases are illustrative of the types of cases handled and do not represent the entire record of cases handled by the firm. The outcome of a particular case is based upon a variety of factors and cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. The penalties listed for each case are the maximum amount of time the client was facing, based upon the structured sentencing guidelines and taking into consideration each client’s criminal record at that time. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.