Criminal Defense

Criminal charges carry a variety of implications and uncertain consequences. Working through the process of your defense can seem overwhelming. With the right attorney you can not only ensure that your rights are protected, but you can secure the best results for your circumstances. Our team of criminal defense attorneys includes over 50 years of experience defending every type of charge from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. Let us put our experience to work for you.


Sam Coleman

Sam Coleman

Sam Coleman is well known and respected among criminal lawyers not only in Orange County, but statewide.

Sam has successfully defended his clients for more than 15 years; his quick intellect and charming personality have fostered a strong working relationship with the Courts and the local legal community.

Sam stands ready to wield an array of intellectual and legal tools to defend your rights and freedom.

James Rainsford

James Rainsford

As a former prosecutor, James understands that every case has to be prepared as if for trial. He has used this knowledge effectively while working as a criminal defense attorney in multiple jurisdictions along the East Coast.

He is known for his strong work ethic and his attention to detail which has made all the difference in trying times. He practices with the knowledge that there is always a defense.

Lonnie Coleman

Alonzo B. Coleman, Jr.

As retired District Court Judge, Alonzo knows the law and understands the intricacies of the criminal process. Since leaving the bench, Alonzo has joined his son to represent our clients and ensure that their rights are protected.

His near 50 years of legal experience have given him a wealth of knowledge regarding various subjects and has helped him to create a network of professionals which can aid in our clients’ defense.

Alonzo has also dedicated significant time to the mastery of the Spanish language and is ready to defend clients in both English and Spanish.


Contact Us

Coleman, Gledhill, Hargrave, Merritt & Rainsford

129 E. Tryon Street

P.O. Drawer 1529

Hillsborough, NC 27278


919.732.2196 phone
919. 732.7997 fax

To make an appointment to discuss Criminal Defense cases and questions:

Diane Dees

Diane Dees

Working with the firm since 2001, Diane holds the position of Administrative Assistant to both Sam and Alonzo. She handles all their scheduling and is ready and willing to set up a time for your meeting. In addition, Diane serves as the in-house bookkeeper for the firm.

Call her today for your appointment..

(919)732-1210 |

Lisa Gammon

Lisa Gammon

Lisa has been working with our criminal defense team to ensure that our clients’ calls and concerns are addressed in a timely fashion. Lisa has been with the firm since 1983 and has vast experience in understanding and addressing legal situations as circumstances necessitate.  Lisa now assists James Rainsford in personal injury and civil and criminal litigation matters. For matters regarding your criminal case, Lisa can be reached at:

(919)732-1211 |