Charles Burnham

Attorney Charles Burnham

Location: Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202-386-6920
Fax: 202-765-2173


blankCharles Burnham focuses his practice on criminal defense.  His criminal practice encompasses both white collar offenses such as fraud or bribery and traditional criminal offenses such as violent crimes or crimes involving illegal narcotics.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Burnham served in government as a judicial law clerk and public defender. In his time at the public defender’s office, Mr. Burnham learned to handle all kinds of criminal cases, including juvenile cases, traffic court cases, felonies, misdemeanors and appeals.

In 2009, Mr. Burnham formed Burnham & Gorokhov, PLLC with law school classmate Eugene Gorokhov. Mr. Burnham and Mr. Gorokhov continue to collaborate on most of the firm’s significant cases. Select representations include:

  • Represented an accused Russian agent in the Southern District of New York.  The case was ultimately resolved by a negotiated agreement resulting in the largest spy swap since the end of the Cold War.
  • Represented business owner charged in the famous “Africa Sting Case” in DC district court – the largest individual bribery prosecution in the history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  All charges were dismissed prior to trial after nearly two years of litigation.
  • On two occasions, Mr. Burnham and his partner Eugene Gorokhov have agreed to represent prison inmates facing government petitions for civil commitment under Virginia’s Sexually Violent Predator Act.  Both clients were ultimately freed – the first by pretrial dismissal and the second after more than two years of litigation resulting in one of the few defense jury verdicts in the history of the law.
  • Represented individual charged in alleged fraud conspiracy in the Western District of Michigan involving African gold mining operations.  All charges dismissed following extensive pretrial litigation including motions to suppress based on government mishandling of evidence and motion to recuse the lead United States Attorney.
  • Represented chief executive of well-known DC area nonprofit under investigation for mishandling of funds.  No charges filed.
  • Represented government contractor in corruption investigation conducted by Department of Justice Public Integrity Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District of Virginia.  Resolved without charges.
  • Recovered $500,000 in damages for client in breach of contract commercial arbitration.
  • Represented pharmacist under investigation for violations of the Controlled Substances Act in the Western District of Virginia after DEA agents raided his pharmacy.  No charges filed.
  • Not guilty jury verdict on aggravated assault and other charges in D.C. Superior Court.
  • Lead counsel for military veteran tried in DC for carrying ammunition into federal courthouse.  Found not guilty.
  • Represented individual charged with felony assault on a police officer in Virginia state court.  Not guilty verdict following defense based on excessive force by police.

Mr. Burnham also has significant appellate experience, having handled cases before the Virginia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Virginia, the DC Court of Appeals and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Select representations include:

  • U.S. v. F.C., (4th Cir. 2013)(forced medication order reversed on interlocutory appeal)
  • S.M. v. U.S.,(D.C. 2014)(drug conviction reversed based on erroneous evidentiary rulings)
  • A.M. v. U.S., (D.C. 2015)(drug conviction reversed based on suppression)
  • S.C. v. U.S., (D.C. 2015)(criminal conviction reversed)
  • A.S. v. U.S., (D.C. 2016)(criminal conviction reversed)

Mr. Burnham is active in a number of professional organizations and attends several conferences every year to stay up to date on developments in the law.

Outside of the law, Mr. Burnham is active in the local community and has served in a number of leadership roles.  He is a past president of the Monsignor Wells Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, current member of the Father Rosensteel Clubhouse Association Board of Directors (Knights of Columbus) and an active parishioner a St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD.

Areas of Practice

  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Federal Criminal Defense
  • Government Investigations
  • Grand Jury Matters
  • General Criminal Defense

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland


    • George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia
      • J.D.
      • Law Journal: Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Associate Editor
  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
    • B.S.
    • Major: Accounting

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • D.C. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Assistant Public Defender, Arlington County, 2007 – 2009
  • Judicial Clerkship, The Honorable Jane Marum Roush, Fairfax Circuit Court, 2006 – 2007

Community Involvement

  • Ancient Order of Hibernians
    • State Board Secretary 2019 – Present;
    • Division President 2018 – 2019;
    • Division Vice President 2017 – 2018.
  • Knights of Columbus – Father Rosensteel Council #2169
  • Father Rosensteel Clubhouse Association Inc. – Board of Directors 2019 – Present
  • St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, Silver Spring, MD – parishioner

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