Jennifer DeGraw is a partner in Gentry Locke’s Criminal & Government Investigations practice group. Jennifer represents individuals and corporations in all stages of the criminal/investigatory process and conducts corporate internal investigations. Jennifer previously served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Virginia and began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in North Carolina. As a state and federal prosecutor, Jennifer prosecuted and investigated narcotics offenses, violent crimes and firearms offenses, regulatory offenses, child exploitation, and fraud offenses. Her extensive experience on the defense and prosecution sides prepares her to represent clients in any criminal or investigatory matters that arise at the state or federal level. Jennifer is licensed to practice in Virginia and North Carolina.
If you had not chosen to become a lawyer, what do you think you would be doing instead?
I would probably be an orthopedic surgeon. I had a number of sports injuries growing up and have always been interested in sports medicine. I had the opportunity to observe my own knee surgery and was fascinated by watching the surgery take place in real time on a video monitor.
What do you find most interesting about the practice of criminal law?
The pursuit of justice is the most satisfying part of criminal law for me. I enjoy the opportunity to zealously represent my client, as well as the variety of cases that I encounter practicing criminal law. Every case is unique in its own way and presents new challenges to tackle.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I love being outdoors when I have the opportunity. Some of my favorite activities are hiking, backpacking, skiing and snowboarding, paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing. My very active dog always gives me a good excuse to get outside, even if it is just for a quick trip to the dog park or to a nearby trail.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A.
- Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D.
- Representation of individuals and corporations on criminal and regulatory matters in the areas of pharmaceuticals and diversion, healthcare and healthcare fraud, transportation, banking crimes, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, bribery, public corruption, rackeetering (RICO), national security, tax, program fraud, government contracting, structuring, and public service, as well as homicide, firearms, violent crimes, and narcotics investigations
- Representation of individuals and corporations on civil matters in the areas of healthcare and pharmaceutical issues, IRS/tax matters, False Claims Act, qui tam actions, cybersecurity/theft matters, banking, and fraud matters
- Represented clients in relation to Congressional, Grand Jury, and other federal and state investigations
- Represented corporate and individual parties in complex tax investigations
- Drafted and argued pretrial motions and sentencing motions for federal district court
- Prepared appellate briefs for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Successfully obtained expungements of a variety of criminal charges for clients
- As a Special Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, from 2012 until 2016:
- Directed government investigations and prosecuted a variety of matters including federal narcotics offenses, offenses involving controlled substance analogues (synthetic drugs), money laundering, firearms offenses, violent crimes, Hobbs Act robbery, identity theft, fraud, Customs and importation violations, and child exploitation cases. Extensive experience with the use of the federal Grand Jury in investigations.
- Represented the United States in seven federal criminal jury trials, to include narcotics conspiracy and narcotics trafficking offenses, firearms offenses, and violent crimes offenses.
- Drafted numerous appellate and habeas pleadings, including appellate briefs filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
- Member, North Carolina State Bar (2008-Present); Virginia State Bar (2016-Present)
- Member, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (2021 – present)
- Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association (2021 – present)
- Member, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2021 – present)
- Member, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (2021 – present)
- Member, Federal Bar Association (2018-Present)
- Member, The Virginia Bar Association (2018-Present)
- Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016-Present)
- Member, American Bar Association (2016-Present), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section (2016-Present)
- Recipient of commendation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (2016)
- Goldberg Scholarship recipient, Wake Forest University School of Law
- Wake Law Trial Bar team member
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