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Keat Wiles



Keat Wiles is a Raleigh criminal appeals attorney.  He also practices in the areas of federal and state criminal defense, civil asset forfeiture defense, election law, ABC Commission defense, and professional licensing defense.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1950, John Keating (“Keat”) Wiles joined the firm in January 1996. Keat graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and was admitted to practice in state courts in North Carolina in 1995. He has since been admitted to practice before all U.S. District Courts in North Carolina and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Keat’s practice focuses on criminal defense in both state and federal courts and state and federal appeals as well as post-conviction practice.

As a law school student, Keat was a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Criminal Law. Since joining the firm, Keat has served as a lecturer, leading a continuing legal education offering by the North Carolina Bar Association where he and his senior partner, Joseph B. Cheshire V, presented the lecture, “When Political Speech Meets State Regulation: The Case of Farmers for Fairness.” He has also published the article, “A Case of Probable Cause Protecting Free Speech,” TRIALBriefs, N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fall 1997. Important reported cases on which Keat has worked include State v. Coble, 351 N.C. 448, 527 S.E.2d 45 (2000), United States v. Rhynes, 196 F.2d 207 (4th Cir. 2000), and United States v. Guyon, 474 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2006).

Before entering the practice of law, Keat pursued a career as an Old Testament scholar and theologian, having completed a B.M. at Oklahoma Baptist University in 1972, M. Div. at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1974 and a Ph. D. in Old Testament Language, Literature, and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982 (Dissertation: “The ‘Enemy’ in Israelite Wisdom Literature”). During his career as an Old Testament scholar, Keat taught at the Seminari Teologia Baptis Indonesia in Semarang, Indonesia, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Shaw Divinity School, Raleigh, North Carolina, and he taught, preached, and wrote, having published books and articles in English and Indonesian and having served local congregations as a teacher and preacher in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. He continues his interests in biblical studies as an adult Bible study teacher in his local fellowship at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. In addition to his continuing interests in biblical studies, Keat’s outside interests include reading and running marathons. Keat is married and he and his wife have two children.

Extensive Experience Successfully Appealing Convictions

Below are a few examples of cases in which Keat Wiles has successfully challenged cases after conviction.  Please note that the specific cases referenced do not represent all of the cases Keat has handled, and past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in future cases. Every case is unique.


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