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About Dirk Padgett Law PLLC

Dirk Padgett Law PLLC was founded on the principles of dedication, hard work and aggressive representation. These are values that founding attorney Dirk B. Padgett developed while serving in the U.S. military, first as a member of the 101st Airborne Division and later as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as a war crimes prosecutor for suspected al-Qaeda terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As a former infantry soldier and former prosecutor tasked with protecting our nation and our local community, he always said, “If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” He will bring that passion to protect your interests.

Whether you are facing criminal charges, struggling with a divorce, hurt in an accident or facing a crisis in your military career, Dirk B. Padgett will provide aggressive representation designed to put you in the best possible position.

Specializing in Criminal Law

Dirk B. Padgett has years of experience helping people with a variety of criminal law matters from DUIs to assault or theft. Dirk Padgett Law PLLC provides active and attentive service, working closely with clients to pursue results that work in their best interests.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law (Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support)
  • Criminal Law
  • Auto Accidents / Personal Injury

Litigation Percentage

Some attorneys devote substantial portions of their practice to pushing paper. At Dirk Padgett Law, 95% of our practice is devoted to litigation.


Dirk was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from William Fleming High School in 1980 where he played football and ran track. He served in the U.S. Army from 1980-1983 where he served as an infantry soldier with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division.

After leaving the Army, he attended and graduated from Roanoke College in 1987 with a degree in history. He graduated from law school from the University of Richmond in 1990. As a JAG in the U.S. Navy from 1991 through 1994, he served as defense counsel, senior prosecutor, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

After two years of private practice (1994-1995), and working part-time as a state prosecutor in Botetourt County, he joined the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office in Bedford County in 1995 and eventually became the Chief Deputy until he retired in 2008.

dirk padgett best criminal defense lawyerAs a reservist, Padgett served two tours in the Middle East: Kuwait in 2003-04 and Iraq in 2007-08. He went back on active duty with the Navy in 2008 and was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., to assist in the prosecution of war crimes against al Qaeda terrorists that are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During that time he obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in National Security Law from Georgetown University. As team chief and lead prosecutor in the war crimes case involving Ibrahim al Qosi, a bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, he successfully prosecuted the first al Qaeda terrorist under the Obama administration.

Padgett resigned from the military in 2014 to enter into private practice and return to the Roanoke Valley.

Dirk is the proud father of three children, and enjoys supporting them in their interests and pursuits – be that coaching football, attending art exhibits, or chauffeuring them wherever they’ve needed to go.

About Dirk B. Padgett

dirk padgett law

Highly accomplished, meticulously organized and detailed attorney with a strong background in criminal litigation, international law, military operations law, and constitutional law who has litigated hundreds of criminal trials, including terrorism prosecution. Extensive experience combining real-world operations with expert analysis, organization, investigation, negotiation, and courtroom litigation skills to prepare high-profile prosecutions. Proven record of negotiating complex issues with a myriad of federal agencies and foreign governments under stressful conditions while adhering to rigid guidelines.


Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2010


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia, LL.M. – 2012
  • University of Richmond, The T.C. Williams School of Law, Richmond, Virginia, J.D. – 1990
  • Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, B.A. cum laude – 1987

Honors and Awards

  • Bronze Star (service in Iraq), 2008
  • Defense Meritious Service Medal (service in war crimes trials in Military Commissions), 2014
  • Navy Commendation Medal, 2007
  • Navy Achievement Medal, 2004
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, 2004
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2004
  • Iraq Campaign Medal, 2008

Past Employment Positions

  • Office of Chief Prosecutor, Military Commissions, Team Chief, JAG, 2008 – 2014
  • Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office, Bedford County, Chief Deputy CA, 1995 – 2008
  • Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, Botetourt Co. VA, Part-time Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Commissioner of Accounts, 1994 – 1995
  • Private Practice, Associate, 1994 – 1995
  • U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General’s Corp., 1991 – 1994

Pro Bono Activities

  • Rec. Club Coach (football, basketball, baseball), 1999 – Present

Ancillary Businesses

  • Former Commissioner of Accounts for Botetourt County, 1994-1995