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Jay Johnson

Criminal defense Attorney at Moscow, ID

5.0   3 reviews

About Jay

Learn Jay’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    clerked for two district judges, worked as deputy prosecutor 3.5 years, worked as public defender 4.5 years, now in private practice

    21 years, 2,000 cases

  2. Contracts and agreements
    small contractor- homeowner disputes, landlord-tenant, etc.

    12 years, 50 cases

  3. DUI and DWI

  4. Wills and living wills
    wills and probate -- living wills, powers of attorney, probate of estates

    12 years, 30 cases

  5. Juvenile law

  6. Violent crime

Father of four grown children, I'm a lacrosse coach; years ago, I was a youth soccer coach and referee.

Before law school, I was a technician and then a business owner. I clerked for two different District Judges, then worked as a deputy prosecutor, then served as a public defender. I have  been an adjunct at our College of Law, helping teach the practical skills we use in the practice of law.  

Licensed for 21 years
State ID
Status Active
Acquired 2001
Updated 11/20/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Jay

Jay Johnson
604 S Washington St Ste 3
Moscow, ID, 83843-3045


5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Adrienne | December 14, 2014
Review of James (Jay) Johnson
Last year we received notice from a landscaper we'd hired that he planned to put a lien on our house because we had not paid him. We had not paid him because he had created a stream that leaked and had left the job unfinished. A lien is likely intended to scare a client into paying, and I must confess it was scary so we felt we needed counsel, but who? We didn't know any attorneys nor had we ever hired one in our lives so I started making some calls hoping for a referral. Finally, James Johnson was recommended, and we set an appointment. Right away I liked Jay. He's a big guy, tall, that is, and very personable. But, that's just extras. What I liked about Jay was his service to us. He drove right out to our house, an hour's drive round trip, so he could see exactly what the problems were. And, I noticed that he was objective in his assessment, like he wanted to prove to himself that there really was a problem, that we weren't making mountains out of molehills. And, that was not the only trip Jay made. During the course of the negotiations, he came out again. Jay always took our calls and answered our emails. He made sure we had copies of what went on between him and the landscaper's lawyer. Eventually, a settlement was reached and the matter was finished. The landscaper got what his work was actually worth, not what he asked, and Jay's fees were reasonable. Since then, I have called Jay with a couple of questions unrelated to the landscaper affair, and he has cordially answered my questions. I'm so glad our search for an attorney led to Mr. Johnson. He relieved our tension and concern with his friendly, down to earth approach. He's a neat guy!
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Posted by Juan | December 12, 2014
Dependable and Trustworthy
Before I even realized I needed legal help, Mr. Johnson gave me advice and helped me see where I was with my case and how things could go for me. Ultimately, I let him represent me and it was much smoother sailing. With his knowledge and sincere care I was able to feel secure and relieved in knowing what to expect in the outcome of my case. I was very happy to have him represent me.
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Posted by Bernie | December 10, 2014
Determined and helpful
Mr. Johnson is one of the most helpful and determined persons I've ever dealt with. I had a small dispute with a city and went to him for legal advise. He had no idea who I was but was more then happy to take time then and there to help me. Then, seeing me at the court house months later still trying to go it alone, he took the time to come over and ask how my case was going. My case wasn't moving at all. Mr. Johnson got me in court that same day, with the city. Afterwards he represented me until the issue was resolved. Mr. Johnson was very determined and tried every route possible until we found the result we were looking for. I would recommend him to everyone.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 180-180 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.3 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Jay Johnson Law Office
  • 2011 - Present
  • Public Defender
  • Latah County
  • 2007 - 2011
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Latah County
  • 2003 - 2007
  • Clerk
  • Idaho County
  • 2002 - 2003
  • Clerk
  • Latah County
  • 2001 - 2002
View all work experience


  • University of Idaho College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2001
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976

Legal Cases

  • State v. Mark Lankford
  • On appeal


  • University of Idaho College of Law
  • Adjunct faculty
  • 2015 - Present
  • Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2007 - Present
  • Ray McNichols Inn of Court
  • 2001 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English


  • Pro Bono Award
  • Idaho State Bar
  • 2016
  • Prosecutor of the Year - to Latah County Prosecutors
  • Idaho Wildlife Federation
  • 2006

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (1)
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer because he is conscientious, thorough, experienced in life and law, and truly committed to helping his clients solve their legal problems."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

Moscow Criminal defense Lawyer Jay Johnson
Jay Johnson
Criminal defense Attorney
Moscow, ID
Licensed for 21 years