Mr. Silva is one of the founding members of Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC.  He was born in New Mexico and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics.  During Mr. Silva's time in college, he held several leadership positions in the Sigma Chi Fraternity.  Mr. Silva was also the President of the Interfraternity Council, a Senator for the Student Body Government, and recognized by the publication Who's Who Among College Students.


​After graduating from the University of New Mexico, Mr. Silva moved to Lynchburg, Virginia to work as a Quality Assurance Chemist for the pharmaceutical company Barr Laboratories (now known as TEVA).  While working for Barr Laboratories, Mr. Silva advanced his career by engaging in research and development on novel drug testing procedures.  Through this experience, Mr. Silva gained a valuable understanding on how drugs should be tested, problems with testing procedures, and laboratory procedures that can render erroneous results.  This experience is critical in evaluating DWI cases and criminal drug charges.


After working in laboratories for several years, Mr. Silva returned to the academic arena and went to Wake Forest Law School.  While at Wake Forest, Mr. Silva participated in one of the most premier Elder Law Clinics in the country.  He also honed his legal skills by serving as a Solicitor and participating in trial competitions.


Shortly after graduating from law school, Mr. Silva began working as an Assistant District Attorney for the Fourth Prosecutorial District.  Initially, Mr. Silva was assigned to prosecute traffic violations ranging from simple seatbelt citations all the way to the criminal charge of death by motor vehicle.  


In less than a year, Mr. Silva was promoted to the position of Chief Assistant District Attorney for the District Courts.  In this position, Mr. Silva was responsible for managing several Assistant District Attorneys, all of the district court prosecutions, as well as being tasked with the operation of DWI Court.


DWI court is a special term of district court that typically lasts about one week.  This court is designed to dispose of particularly problematic DWIs.  In DWI Court, Mr. Silva handled hundreds of DWIs on behalf of the State of North Carolina.  Mr. Silva literally tried DWI cases nearly all day long for the entire term of court.  This provided an invaluable experience that is directly beneficial to DWI defense.


By representing the State of North Carolina in hundreds, if not thousands, of DWI charges, Mr. Silva learned how to prosecute nearly any factual scenario. Additionally, Mr. Silva learned the defenses presented by nearly every criminal defense attorney in Onslow and Jones counties.


Before the end of Mr. Silva's first year as an Assistant District Attorney, he was again promoted.  This time, Mr. Silva was promoted to the position of a Superior Court Prosecutor.  Superior Court is the highest level trial court in North Carolina.  In this position, Mr. Silva represented the State in a huge range of top level felonies.  Mr. SIlva prosecuted murder charges, drug trafficking charges, child rape charges, armed robberies, felony DWI charges, you name it. For the majority of the time that Mr. Silva was a Superior Court Prosecutor, he was the leading prosecutor for the Office of the District Attorney in trial completions.  


In 2012, Mr. Silva left the Office of the District Attorney with another Superior Court Prosecutor to begin this firm.  Over the last few years, our firm has grown from two people to two full offices located in Jacksonville and Clinton, North Carolina.  As a defense attorney, Mr. Silva uses the legal skills and experience he gained from working as a prosecutor and completing a large number of jury trials.  Mr. Silva's experience as a former prosecutor has lead to a great deal of success in criminal defense.  


Mr. Silva has received numerous awards for criminal defense over the years.  He was listed as a "Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina" by the American Society of Legal Advocates.  Mr. Silva was awarded the "Top 100 DWI attorneys in North Carolina" by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC.  Mr. Silva was awarded the "Top 10 Under 40" by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.  Mr. Silva is currently rated as a perfect 10, Superb, by the independent attorney rating site, Avvo (click here to see Mr. Silva's Avvo Profile).  Most importantly, Mr. Silva was recently awarded the "AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review" by Martindale-Hubbell.


In our firm, Mr. Silva primarily focuses on DWI and Criminal Defense.  Mr. Silva also provides service in real estate transactions, contract formation and litigation, corporate creation, Medical and Dental board litigation, and landlord tenant issues.  If you have a legal need that Mr. Silva does not personally handle, we almost assuredly have an attorney that practices in that particular field.  We also associate with a number of local attorneys in a managerial fashion to handle personal injury cases, certain types of complex civil litigation, and other fields.

Matthew Vernon Silva, Esquire

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A Former Prosecutor and Experienced Advocate

Silva, Kiernan&Associates, PLLC

910.333.9833 - Jacksonville, NC

910.592.5137 - Clinton, NC