W. Edward Riley, IV

W. Edward Riley, IV Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law lawyers

W. Edward Riley, IV

Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Law
  • Firearms Law
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Traffic Violations
  • Personal Injury


  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia


  • University of Richmond, J.D., 1991
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 1987

Ed Riley is a trial lawyer. He is admitted to practice law in both state and federal trial courts in Virginia, and has successfully argued before the Supreme Court of Virginia and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Riley has been dedicated to successfully practicing criminal and traffic defense for over two decades.

Mr. Riley has argued over 150 jury trials in both federal and state courts across the Commonwealth, holds the highest national legal rating with Martindale-Hubbell, has been recognized by his peers as one of the Legal Elite as published by Virginia Business Magazine, and has been consecutively selected for inclusion in both the Virginia Super Lawyers and Richmond Magazine publications for his superb legal ability and ethics. He regularly appears before and is quoted by media outlets as a criminal law commentator for high profile criminal cases, and routinely lectures on criminal law, DUI law, and traffic law to other lawyers and judges.

Mr. Riley’s involvement within the legal community is extensive. Currently, he is Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the VTLA. Past Co-Chair of the Virginia Criminal Justice Commission (VCJC) and remains an active member.  Board member of the VTLA and a past Board Member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers VACDL.  A Sustaining Member of the National College for DUI Defense.  Also a member of the Richmond Criminal Bar, the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Member of the Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice’s Indigent Defense Training Commission and the Virginia State Bar Indigent Defense Task Force. Past Chairman of the Virginia Fair Trial Project (VFTP). Past co-chair of the VTLA’s publication committee and member of the CLE committee and Amicus Committee. Past committee member of the VTLA’s Legislative Committee and Litigation Support Committee and Death Penalty Committee.  Member of the Young Lawyers Leadership Committee from 1997-2001. Past Legislative liaison between the VACDL and the NACDL.

He has appeared as a legal expert for News Channel 6 in Richmond on numerous occasions over the years and has spoken through out the Richmond area to groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and School classes from elementary school through college on drinking and driving and the workings of the Court system.

Mr. Riley is also very active with the Special Olympics of Virginia, which has included being a Committee Chairperson for the New Years Eve Gala and a Committee Member of the Golf Event and assisted in the State Summer Games. He is also active in the Kiwanis, which is a Community Service Organization and was the former President of the Kanawha Kiwanis Club. He is also on the planning committee for Oystoberfest, which supports St. Thomas Church and non-profit organizations such as Connor’s Hero’s.  Mr. Riley is also an active member of The Men’s Corp for St. Thomas Church in Richmond.


  • Virginia State Bar
  • National College for DUI Defense (Sustaining Member)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Richmond Criminal Bar Association
  • Virginia Criminal Justice Conference
  • VA Defenses



Related News:

Richmond Police Officer Allowed to Drive Home After Felony Eluding Charge January 11, 2018
Ed Riley discusses the issues in this case with CBS News 6 Jon Burkett

Ed Riley has been named a member of the Virginia State Bar task force that was created to revisit the battle-scarred subject of criminal discovery reform in Virginia April 2017

Virginia spends big on private attorneys for state officials May 18, 2016
Ed Riley discusses this issue with the Associated Press

Murder charge dropped against ex-Dinwiddie deputy who fatally shot brother is self defense, then tried frantically to save him October 4, 2016
Ed Riley discusses the case with RTD reporter Mark Bowes

Trial begins for man accused of murdering 12-year-old Amiya Moses May 16, 2016          

Ed Riley discusses the case with CBS News 6

When taxpayers foot the bill, state officials get the pricier attorney by Travis Fain of the Daily Press

Ed Riley quoted in Mr. Fain’s about indigent defense compensation 

Report Finds Virginia Strictest on Punishing Burglars December 18, 2013                        

Ed Riley discusses Virginia burglary law with CBS News 6 Jon Burkett

Families at Hanover swimming facility shocked by coach’s arrest on sex charges November 8, 2013 

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Ed Riley discusses a recent case involving taking indecent liberties with children in Mechanicsville with CBS News 6

Police may not have enough evidence to make case in alleged attempted abduction July 19, 2013

Ed Riley discusses controversial attempted abduction case in Powhatan County with CBS 6 News reporter Jon Burkett

Woman accused of leaving kids in hot car to appear in court August 7, 2013

Legal Expert Ed Riley discusses a recent murder case with CBS News 6 anchor Cheryl Miller

Virginia Criminal Justice Conference (VCJC) September 2009

Ed Riley is elected to a two year term as Co-Chair of the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference

6th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense Seminar April 2010

Ed Riley assists Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice host Due Process Seminar

Hanover Jury Finds Teacher Not Guilty of Indecent Liberties December 2010

Defense Attorney Ed Riley interviewed by NBC 12 after securing Jury trial acquittal

Continuing Legal Education:

  • SpeakerA Trial from Voir Dire through Jury Instructions (2016)
  • Speaker, VTLA Expert Witnesses in a Criminal or Traffic Case 2015
  • Speaker, Virginia State Bar “First Day in Practice” Seminar 2014, 2015
  • Speaker, Virginia State Bar Young Lawyer Conference 13th Annual Professional Development Conf. 2014
  • Speaker, Virginia Public Defenders Annual Convention and the Public Defenders Introduction to Practice.
  • Speaker, VTLA Criminal Law Update 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012
  • Speaker, Strategies for Handling DUI Cases in Virginia 2004, 2013
  • Speaker, Solo and Small Firm Seminar 2004, 2005 and 2006
  • Speaker, VTLA How to Defend Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography 2012
  • Speaker, VTLA Paralegal Seminar 2010
  • Speaker, The Mastering of Scientific Evidence Seminar in Atlanta, Ga., in 2000
  • Speaker, “I Feel the Need for Speed!” Practice in Traffic Court, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, November 2008
  • The Art of Persuasion: Painting Powerful Images In DUI Cases
  • Speaker, “How to Defend the DUI,” 4th Annual Public Defender Seminar, April  2008
  • Speaker, Louisa County Bar Association DUI and Serious Traffic Law update 2007
  • 4th Annual Indigent Criminal Defense: Advanced Skills For The Experienced Practitioner
  • Speaker, “DUI and other Serious Traffic Defenses: Recent Updates and Defenses” – VTLA: Annual Criminal Law Seminar, September 2006
  • SpeakerDUI & Traffic Law Update: The Nuts and Bolts (2005)
  • Speaker, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) Annual Convention DUI Panel 2004
  • Speaker, “A Traffic Law Update,” VTLA Annual Criminal Law Seminar, September 2004
  • Speaker, Richmond Criminal Bar DUI Update 2004
  • Speaker, “Experts on DUI: What Works and What Doesn’t Work” VACDL Spring Meeting and Seminar May 2004
  • Speaker “How to Prepare Your Lawyer for a Criminal/Traffic Trial” VTLA Paralegal Seminar 2010
  • Speaker “Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography” VTLA Annual Criminal Law Seminar 2012

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11/10/2015 | Updated 3/23/2018