Evan Watson is a criminal defense trial lawyer. With your freedom and liberty at stake, you deserve to know what your prospective defense attorney has accomplished in recent trials. In 2022, two very different trials illustrate Evan’s ability to adapt and tailor a defense to your case, no matter the circumstances.
In the first trial, a felony serious injury by vehicle case, Evan’s client was charged with driving off the roadway into a culvert, before going airborne and rolling their truck several times. The resulting late-night, fiery accident left Evan’s client with severe injuries, while the vehicle’s other occupant sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma for several days and hospitalized for weeks. Both occupants’ blood results came back well over Georgia’s legal alcohol limit of 0.08. At trial, Evan centered his case on attacking the state prosecutor’s theory on who was driving the vehicle and proving that the “passenger” was actually driving the truck based on the physical and forensic evidence available. Despite Evan’s client making statements to law enforcement about a third-party driving and allegedly admitting to a nurse (who testified at trial) that they were driving, Evan spearheaded a case that ultimately resulted in his client being found not guilty of all driving offenses. The winning effort included both an accident reconstruction specialist as well as a forensic medical examiner who both testified on behalf of the defense. Evan crossed examined a state’s expert who was flown in from Pennsylvania to bolster the state’s theory- the expert left without making any real contribution to the case. After the multi-day trial, the jury found the client guilty only of making a false statement (to law enforcement) about who was driving the vehicle. After a further argument in sentencing, Evan’s client was found guilty only of the misdemeanor version of this crime and sentenced to probation under Georgia’s first offender law.
In the second notable jury trial victory, Evan represented a client charged with vehicular homicide for an early morning accident that resulted in a bicyclist being killed. The allegations were that Evan’s client was distracted by reaching for a mug in the center console area, which caused them to veer to the right, striking a bicyclist who was partially in the roadway during the early morning hour. Unlike the previous case where Evan was able to utilize expert witnesses to bolster the defense’s case, in this trial Evan’s defense was built entirely on cross-examination of the state’s witnesses to paint doubt in the jurors’ minds. The case was personally tried by the county’s elected top prosecutor who tendered several expert witnesses and a full accident reconstruction in their effort to prove their case. Nonetheless, the jury ultimately acquitted Evan’s client of the vehicular homicide charges and the client was found guilty only of distracted driving, which carried a $50 fine. Ultimately, the winning trial strategy was to attack the proximate cause (or causation) of the accident, the driver’s actions versus the bicyclist’s actions.
As a Georgia “Super Lawyer” (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022) Evan fights for clients day in, and day out throughout Forsyth County and other Metro Atlanta and Georgia courtrooms. Evan’s practice specializes in misdemeanor and felony criminal defense. Evan has defended thousands of clients and earned a reputation as a trial attorney willing to go the distance to obtain results. Even in 2020, with courts virtually shuttered, Evan obtained a trial acquittal (over Microsoft Teams) as well as having an assault/battery case dismissed by the Judge’s granting of self-defense immunity (over Zoom). No matter the circumstance, Evan is constantly evaluating a case's approach to achieve the very best outcome possible.
Evan believes in a client-centered approach to representation, where strategy and preparation come first and always have your input. Evan also has a strong network of both attorneys and professionals throughout the legal industry to collaborate with on various cases and situations arising throughout the representation.
As a member of the Georgia criminal defense bar, Evan regularly attends training and continuing education to stay current on the latest defense strategies. 2022 speaking engagements included presenting to the Georgia Bar on Boating Under the Influence (BUI) defense. Evan is a member of various professional groups including the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL). In 2010, Evan graduated from GACDL’s Bill Daniels Trial Advocacy Program, an intensive program designed to give trial attorneys the real-world instruction and experience they need to master the art and science of courtroom advocacy. Evan is the past President of the Forsyth County Criminal Defense Bar (2015) and a past member of the Forsyth County Tripartite Committee.
Evan graduated from Riverwood High School, in Atlanta’s Sandy Springs area and went on to earn a degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. At The Citadel, Evan excelled in academics and military leadership, earning both Dean’s List and Commandant’s List Honors, as well as serving in leadership positions within his unit. Evan also was a member of the South Carolina National Guard while at The Citadel, with an 11B MOS. He earned his J.D. from the Charleston School of Law in 2008. While in Charleston, Evan helped to spearhead the “My Study Place” initiative, a program that placed personal desks in the homes of over 50 local elementary school students.
Current Training and Credentials
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI), Georgia ICLE, December 2022, Presenter-1 hour presentation, Atlanta, Georgia
- Wrongful Death Law (virtual), August 2022, 6 hours
- Virtual GC/LC Bootcamp, Axion Labs & Training Institute, September 2022- Advanced course on forensic blood testing methods
- DUIDLA (Natl. DUI Defense Organization) 2021 Fall Seminar, Chicago, Ill. (virtual)- 12.60 hours of DUI defense studies and materials (blood testing, breath testing, field sobriety testing, trial and discovery, jury selection, collateral consequences)
- Digital Evidence Offense and Defense in Child Molestation and Porn Cases (virtual), September 2021, 1 hour
- Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism (virtual), September 2021, 3 hours
- Defending Sexual Assault Cases (virtual), NACDL, July 2020, 9.5 hours
- Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism- Court Reopening Guide (virtual), August 2020, 2 hours