PRACTICE AREAS

Criminal Defense

EDUCATION

Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (J.D. 2010)
St. Mary’s College of Maryland (B.A. 2004)

Find out more: Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Hollingsworth

Michael Hollingsworth

Director, Criminal Defense Division

“The courthouse is the one place where everybody is supposed to get a fair shot. Regardless. And that’s exactly how it should be. I treat every case with urgency and dedication.”

A zealous, compassionate advocate and counselor whose personal experiences uniquely qualify him to obtain justice for his clients, Michael Hollingsworth concentrates in the areas of criminal defense and the defense of serious traffic matters. He is also experienced with civil litigation, and has tried cases ranging from contract disputes to divorce. Mr. Hollingsworth joined Nichols Zauzig in 2014 and leads the firm’s Criminal Defense Division.

Mr. Hollingsworth’s experience has taken him through every level of Virginia’s court system. He has tried cases in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, General District Court, and Circuit Court of virtually every county in Northern Virginia. Mr. Hollingsworth has defended a wide variety of felonies and misdemeanors, including capital murder, first-degree murder, rape and other sex crimes, robbery and larceny, possession and distribution of narcotics, driving while intoxicated, and reckless driving. Beyond trial work, Mr. Hollingsworth is also a skilled appellate lawyer, and has argued before both the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Virginia Court of Appeals.

Mr. Hollingsworth graduated from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. where his passion for litigation was quickly realized. During law school, he was a member of the Society of Trial Advocates, a student group focused on developing strong trial advocacy skills. He was also a member of the moot court national trial team, for which select students competitively audition to earn a place, and travel to law schools across the United States to participate in criminal and civil mock trial competitions.

Mr. Hollingsworth was also a judicial intern to Honorable Mary Grace Rook in the District of Columbia Superior Court and served as a teaching assistant for the law school. Additional academic accomplishments included the Mason Civil Rights Scholar Award for students demonstrating outstanding academic performance and community service, as well as the LeClercq Scholarship, awarded to one student selected by legal writing professors for best legal brief.

Prior to law school, Mr. Hollingsworth worked in both The White House and the United States House of Representatives, giving him behind-the-scenes insight into the legislative process. He also spent time working in the government affairs division of one of Washington’s premier lobbying firms. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and also obtained a certificate in political management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Hollingsworth approaches the practice of criminal law from the viewpoint of the accused and treats every case with urgency and dedication. He understands the power of the government and its ability to take advantage of the individual, if allowed to proceed unchecked. Whether you are charged with a simple misdemeanor or serious felony, Mr. Hollingsworth promises to work to achieve the best possible result under the facts of your case.

INSPIRATION

Find our more about how and why Michael Hollingsworth became the passionate attorney he is today: Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael E. Hollingsworth.

  • Board of Directors, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, since 2016
  • Co-Chairperson, Criminal Law Committee, Prince William County Bar Association, since 2019
  • Mentor, New Criminal Defense Attorneys, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, since 2019
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Fairfax County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Federalist Society
  • Volunteer, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN)
  • Top 40 under 40, The National Trial Lawyers Association, since 2019
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Association, since 2014
  • Top Criminal Lawyer, Northern Virginia Magazine, 2014
  • Top Attorney Award, 10.0 Rating, Avvo, since 2014
  • Clients’ Choice Award, Avvo, since 2014
  • Badge of Excellence, Avvo, 2017
  • Mason Civil Rights Scholar Award, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2010
  • LeClercq Scholarship, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2010

Presentations:

  • “Pre-trial Motions Practice in Criminal Litigation,” Circuit Court Jury Trials: Client Intake to Morning of Trial, Prince William County Bar Association CLE Seminar, August 2018

Publications:

  • “The Fourth Amendment and CSLI,” The Virginia Champion, publication of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, August 2017

  • Annual Legislative Updates, Prince William County Bar Association, 2014-16

“Don’t let Mr. Hollingsworth’s calm, relaxed and personable demeanor fool you: he will fight very hard and relentlessly. During the 90 minutes we were in court prior to the trial, unlike other attorneys who were looking at their phones, he was in negotiations with the prosecutor, talking with the sheriff and conferring with other attorneys in order to find the best strategy to deal with our fair but tough judge.” – Bill McIntyre, Google review

“We needed answers in the very late night and they actually were there to help us. Mr Hollingsworth knows so many people in the area and has great rapport with everyone that problems are quickly solved. He was so relaxed in court and made us all feel so much more at ease. We never worried or had any unanswered questions.” – Mary, Avvo review

“Mr. Hollingsworth did an amazing job on my case. He was able to give me an idea of the direction we should go with the case. Once we had all the information he was able to help me make an educated decision on what we should do next and because of waiting to get all the information he was able to get my cased dismissed. I highly recommend Mr. Hollingsworth and his team for all of your legal needs.” – Kevin Loughery, Google review

“ Mr. Hollingsworth and his team did everything to satisfy all my relentless questions and also worked to really build my trust. I was not just another case number and I very much appreciated that.” –  Nicole, Avvo review

“Michael worked on my son’s criminal defense case. The final result was better than expected, but what I liked was the way he dealt with us. I prefer straight forward talkers that don’t beat around the bush and tell it like it is. That’s exactly what we got. I would hire him again in a minute.”- Lawrence, Avvo review

“Michael was a life saver… He was professional and kind. He treated my daughter with compassion and did an excellent job in court. I highly recommend Michael and his firm!” – Regine, Avvo review

“ I highly recommend Mr. Hollingsworth and his associates, you’ll get the absolute best assistance possible and they genuinely care about their clients.” Maddie Touchet, Google review

“Michael has a passion for winning and the people he represents. He is well prepared when he walks into the court room and is ready to fight for you. He is what other lawyers wish they could be and that is a “BEAST” in the court room.” Earl, Avvo review

“From the very first conversation with Michael, he was factual, honest, and caring about the situation in which my daughter was facing. His team worked tirelessly to obtain the best results possible.” Mother of teenage daughter, Avvo review

“I want to thank Mr. Hollingsworth for his professionalism and competent support. His unique approach and straight forward advice in solving complex cases makes Michael a person that will always look for the client’s best interest.” Rodrigo Valdivieso, Google review

Judge orders new trial for client facing 35-year prison sentence

Mr. Hollingsworth’s client had been convicted for forcible sodomy and attempted rape and the jury in Stafford County recommended he serve 35 years, although formal sentencing had not yet occurred. Mr. Hollingsworth successfully argued for the new trial based on information about a cell phone that belonged to the alleged victim came to light after his client’s conviction. More info: http://bit.ly/valawweekly-meh

Felony drug charges dismissed after unconstitutional police conduct

Felony drug charges were dismissed by the Prince William Circuit Court after a motion to suppress was litigated by Michael Hollingsworth to show unconstitutional police conduct under the 4th Amendment.

Felony robbery charges dismissed

Mr. Hollingsworth was successful in having robbery charges dismissed for his wrongly accused client.

Child pornography charges dismissed based on 4th amendment

Multiple charges of possession of child pornography were dismissed in Fredericksburg court after Mr. Hollingsworth won his argument to suppress a motion based on 4th Amendment violations about the legality of a computer search.

Multi-million dollar defamation case dismissed

A multi-million dollar defamation and malicious prosecution lawsuit dismissed in Prince William Circuit Court on Mr. Hollingsworth’s motion

Intellectually impaired man saved from life imprisonment for murder

After defense attorney Michael Hollingsworth recognized signs of intellectual disability, this 27-year-old client facing murder charges underwent a psychological evaluation and was found to be significantly impaired. The attorney convinced prosecution to plead to a lesser, non-death eligible offense in exchange for full cooperation against other co-defendants. Charges reduced from life imprisonment to 27 years.

At-risk client protected from mandatory jail time

Mr. Hollingsworth negotiated a no-jail disposition plea bargain for his at-risk client.

Michael Hollingsworth

Director, Criminal Defense Division

PRACTICE AREAS

Criminal Defense

EDUCATION

Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (J.D. 2010)
St. Mary’s College of Maryland (B.A. 2004)

FInd out more:

INSPIRATION

Find our more: Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael E. Hollingsworth.

Overview

A zealous, compassionate advocate and counselor whose personal experiences uniquely qualify him to obtain justice for his clients, Michael Hollingsworth concentrates in the areas of criminal defense and the defense of serious traffic matters.  He is also experienced with civil litigation, and has tried cases ranging from contract disputes to divorce.

Mr. Hollingsworth’s experience has taken him through every level of Virginia’s court system.  He has tried cases in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, General District Court, and Circuit Court of virtually every county in Northern Virginia.  Mr. Hollingsworth has defended a wide variety of felonies and misdemeanors, including capital murder, first-degree murder, rape and other sex crimes, robbery and larceny, possession and distribution of narcotics, driving while intoxicated, and reckless driving.  Beyond trial work, Mr. Hollingsworth is also a skilled appellate lawyer, and has argued before both the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Virginia Court of Appeals.

Mr. Hollingsworth graduated from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. where his passion for litigation was quickly realized.  During law school, he was a member of the Society of Trial Advocates, a student group focused on developing strong trial advocacy skills.  He was also a member of the moot court national trial team, for which select students competitively audition to earn a place, and travel to law schools across the United States to participate in criminal and civil mock trial competitions.

Mr. Hollingsworth was also a judicial intern to Honorable Mary Grace Rook in the District of Columbia Superior Court and served as a teaching assistant for the law school. Additional academic accomplishments included the Mason Civil Rights Scholar Award for students demonstrating outstanding academic performance and community service, as well as the LeClercq Scholarship, awarded to one student selected by legal writing professors for best legal brief.

Prior to law school, Mr. Hollingsworth worked in both The White House and the United States House of Representatives. He also spent time working in the government affairs division of one of Washington’s premier lobbying firms.  He received his undergraduate degree in political science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and also obtained a certificate in political management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Hollingsworth approaches the practice of criminal law from the viewpoint of the accused and treats every case with urgency and dedication.  He understands the power of the government and its ability to take advantage of the individual, if allowed to proceed unchecked.  Whether you are charged with a simple misdemeanor or serious felony, Mr. Hollingsworth promises to work to achieve the best possible result under the facts of your case.

INSPIRATION

Find our more about how and why Michael Hollingsworth became the passionate attorney he is today: Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Michael E. Hollingsworth.

Leadership

  • Board of Directors, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, since 2016
  • Co-Chairperson, Criminal Law Committee, Prince William County Bar Association, since 2019
  • Mentor, New Criminal Defense Attorneys, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, since 2019
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Fairfax County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Federalist Society
  • Volunteer, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN)

Honors

  • Top 40 under 40, The National Trial Lawyers Association, since 2019
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Association, since 2014
  • Top Criminal Lawyer, Northern Virginia Magazine, 2014
  • Top Attorney Award, 10.0 Rating, Avvo, since 2014
  • Clients’ Choice Award, Avvo, since 2014
  • Badge of Excellence, Avvo, 2017
  • Mason Civil Rights Scholar Award, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2010
  • LeClercq Scholarship, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 2010
Top 100 National Trial Lawyers

Publications

  • “The Fourth Amendment and CSLI,” The Virginia Champion, publication of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, August 2017

  • Annual Legislative Updates, Prince William County Bar Association, 2014-16

Testimonials

“Don’t let Mr. Hollingsworth’s calm, relaxed and personable demeanor fool you: he will fight very hard and relentlessly. During the 90 minutes we were in court prior to the trial, unlike other attorneys who were looking at their phones, he was in negotiations with the prosecutor, talking with the sheriff and conferring with other attorneys in order to find the best strategy to deal with our fair but tough judge.” – Bill McIntyre, Google review

“We needed answers in the very late night and they actually were there to help us. Mr Hollingsworth knows so many people in the area and has great rapport with everyone that problems are quickly solved. He was so relaxed in court and made us all feel so much more at ease. We never worried or had any unanswered questions.” – Mary, Avvo review

“Throughout the entire time at court he was so confident and determined to help me out as much as possible. The outcome was so much better than I had expected. Mr Hollingsworth is the real deal, 10/10.” – Winy Sandoval, Google review

“Mr. Hollingsworth did an amazing job on my case. He was able to give me an idea of the direction we should go with the case. Once we had all the information he was able to help me make an educated decision on what we should do next and because of waiting to get all the information he was able to get my cased dismissed. I highly recommend Mr. Hollingsworth and his team for all of your legal needs.” – Kevin Loughery, Google review

“ Mr. Hollingsworth and his team did everything to satisfy all my relentless questions and also worked to really build my trust. I was not just another case number and I very much appreciated that.” –  Nicole, Avvo review

“Michael worked on my son’s criminal defense case. The final result was better than expected, but what I liked was the way he dealt with us. I prefer straight forward talkers that don’t beat around the bush and tell it like it is. That’s exactly what we got. I would hire him again in a minute.”- Lawrence, Avvo review

“Michael was a life saver… He was professional and kind. He treated my daughter with compassion and did an excellent job in court. I highly recommend Michael and his firm!” – Regine, Avvo review

“ I highly recommend Mr. Hollingsworth and his associates, you’ll get the absolute best assistance possible and they genuinely care about their clients.” Maddie Touchet, Google review

“Michael has a passion for winning and the people he represents. He is well prepared when he walks into the court room and is ready to fight for you. He is what other lawyers wish they could be and that is a “BEAST” in the court room.” Earl, Avvo review

“From the very first conversation with Michael, he was factual, honest, and caring about the situation in which my daughter was facing. His team worked tirelessly to obtain the best results possible.” Mother of teenage daughter, Avvo review

“We really enjoyed everyone we met here and they made us all feel so comfortable.  They solved every problem and I can’t say enough about how timely they were. I would highly recommend.” M.

“Michael, You gave more support to me and my family throughout this ordeal than anyone else with the exception of my son. I will always consider you to be one of the best people I’ve ever met, as well as one of the sharpest/skilled.” – T.

“I want to thank Mr. Hollingsworth for his professionalism and competent support. His unique approach and straight forward advice in solving complex cases makes Michael a person that will always look for the client’s best interest.” R. V.

“Mike is honest and professional . I appreciate all he has done for me, I am glad that I finally can put it all behind, ” A.

“Mr. Hollingsworth was very supportive and kept me apprised of the details of my case. He accurately interpreted the law and gave me an accurate perspective on the possibilities of expected outcomes. He is very professional, provides easy access to speak with him. I would recommend him..” – N.S.

Trial Results

Judge orders new trial for client facing 35-year prison sentence

Mr. Hollingsworth’s client had been convicted for forcible sodomy and attempted rape and the jury in Stafford County recommended he serve 35 years, although formal sentencing had not yet occurred. Mr. Hollingsworth successfully argued for the new trial based on information about a cell phone that belonged to the alleged victim came to light after his client’s conviction. More info: http://bit.ly/valawweekly-meh

Felony drug charges dismissed after unconstitutional police conduct

Felony drug charges were dismissed by the Prince William Circuit Court after a motion to suppress was litigated by Michael Hollingsworth to show unconstitutional police conduct under the 4th Amendment.

Felony robbery charges dismissed

Mr. Hollingsworth was successful in having robbery charges dismissed for his wrongly accused client.

Child pornography charges dismissed based on 4th amendment

Multiple charges of possession of child pornography were dismissed in Fredericksburg court after defense attorney Michael Hollingsworth won his argument to suppress a motion based on 4th Amendment violations regarding the legality of a computer search.

Multi-million dollar defamation case dismissed

A multi-million dollar defamation and malicious prosecution lawsuit dismissed in Prince William Circuit Court on defense attorney Michael Hollingsworth’s motion

Intellectually impaired man saved from life imprisonment for murder

After defense attorney Michael Hollingsworth recognized signs of intellectual disability, this 27-year-old client facing murder charges underwent a psychological evaluation and was found to be significantly impaired. The attorney convinced prosecution to plead to a lesser, non-death eligible offense in exchange for full cooperation against other co-defendants. Charges reduced from life imprisonment to 27 years.

At-risk client protected from mandatory jail time

Mr. Hollingsworth negotiated a no-jail disposition plea bargain for his at-risk client.

“The courthouse is the one place where everybody is supposed to get a fair shot. Regardless. And that’s exactly how it should be. I treat every case with urgency and dedication.”
RECENT AVVO REVIEWS