Criminal Defense Attorney: Sylva, North Carolina

1601 East Main St., 
Sylva, NC 28779

Phone: 828-354-4300
Fax: 828-354-4299

Cherokee Tribal Court

The Cherokee Tribal Court is neither a federal court nor a North Carolina state court. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a self-governing, autonomous governmental entity and its Tribal Court is governed by its own set of rules, regulations and penalties. Nathan Earwood is among only a handful of Western North Carolina attorneys that routinely represent individuals in criminal, traffic, and domestic matters in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Court. Additionally we have experience in the Business Committee, and with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. For approximately a decade, we have represented individuals charged with a broad range of criminal offenses and assisted with other legal, non-criminal, and legislative issues which occur on the Cherokee Reservation.

The Cherokee Tribe and the State of North Carolina each have areas of the Qualla Boundary under exclusive jurisdiction. These jurisdictions are not bound by geographical location, they often are dictated by the categorization of the crime and who/what it effects. There are substantial differences in the law and how that law is executed in each of these jurisdictions. This can lead to very different outcomes. For example, a simple possession of marijuana charge, which could lead to probation in North Carolina State Court or Federal Court can have a maximum sentence equal to over a year in jail in Cherokee Court. Because of this, an attorney with experience in both jurisdictions, and knowledgeable of the rules governing each, can be of great benefit to a person charged with crimes occurring on the Reservation.

We represent individuals from all walks of life charged with any offense occurring on the Cherokee Reservation. Our office is knowledgeable and experienced in the Tribal Code and sentencing guidelines. We offer a free consultation to personally discuss your situation.

Our services include:

Drug offenses

Violent crimes


Domestic violence