Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Ernie Dukes has been an advocate for justice for over twenty-five years. While attending Jacksonville State University studying Forensic Sciences, he worked as a police officer for Anniston Police Department in Alabama. Ernie relocated to Florida in 2001 where he attended law school. He graduated in 2004 and was admitted to the Bar only a few months later.
Although Ernie has prior experience in civil litigation, his passion for criminal justice led him to become a highly respected prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Clay County. Ernie’s contribution to the Fourth Judicial Circuit includes trying a multitude of jury trials during his twelve-year tenure. His trial experience ranges from simple criminal traffic matters to violent felony cases.
In the courtroom, colleagues would describe Dukes as a no-nonsense attorney committed to justice. His work is meticulous and his arguments are genuine. Ernie is committed to helping those in need and provides individualized care for each and every case. Regardless of which side he practices, he advocates for a fair interpretation of the law. His work as a police officer and a state prosecutor has given him a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, allowing him to view the case from all angles and craft a thoughtful defense. Outside of the courtroom, his peers would say he is a light-hearted, easygoing guy who is a friend to all.
Phillips & Hunt welcomed Ernie to the firm in April 2022 as their sole criminal defense attorney. Within a matter of a few months, he has hit the ground running trying and winning two jury trials with several more scheduled in the coming months. He looks forward to contributing his skills to the firm and enriching himself with an accomplished team of attorneys.
Ernie is happily married with three lovely children and two dogs. When he is not in the courtroom or attending activities with his family, Dukes enjoys watching college football, spending time at his local shooting range, or taking to the wooded trails of northeast Florida with his Jeep.