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James Nesci

About James Nesci

About me


James Nesci is a 1994 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law and was a solo practitioner for ten years in Tucson, Arizona before becoming the managing partner in the firm; Nesci, St. Louis & West, P.L.L.C. in January, 2005. The firm is now  known as Nesci & St. Louis, P.L.L.C. where, in addition to writing books on DUI Defense, he works on large-scale challenges to DUI laws and investigatory techniques. Mr. Nesci is AV-Rated® by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named one of The Best Lawyers in America® for 2010. Mr. Nesci was also named as one of the Best Lawyers in Tucson in the area of DUI Defense by the Tucson Lifestyles Magazine. Only three other lawyers have received such distinction.


In 1999 Mr. Nesci became a Sustaining Member of the National College for DUI Defense. In 2001, he was Board Certified by the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. and one of less than fifty in the nation (as of January, 2009). Board Certification is recognized by the American Bar Association. In 2006, he was appointed Regent of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He was formerly the chair of the Curriculum Committee for the NCDD, is the Chair of the State Delegate  Committee and is currently the Treasurer. He has served as an oral argument judge for the Board Certification Committee.


He is the author of Arizona DUI Defense: The Law & Practice, 3rd Edition, a legal treatise written for DUI defense attorneys and published by Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company. He is co-author of DUI DEfense books in Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He is a contributing author for the 5th Edition of the treatise: Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol which is a text used by forensic toxicologists across the world and serves as the text for the Borkenstein School at Indiana University.

His firm’s practice is devoted almost entirely to defense of vehicular crimes. At any one time, he typically defends about 20 DUI cases in several jurisdictions.


Mr. Nesci often defends cases well into the .30 blood-alcohol range. He has caught more than one police officer lying during cross-examination and some police officers have even refused to grant pretrial interviews to him without a prosecutor or their own counsel present. He was one of the lead attorneys on the Intoximeters® RBT-IV breath-testing issue in Southern Arizona which resulted in the suppression of breath tests in over 7,000 cases and the removal of the RBT-IV from the streets of Arizona. He also spear-headed the effort to obtain the manufacturer’s source code and software for the CMI Intoxilyzer 8000. Although the source code was never obtained, he almost single-handedly ground 90% of all DUI prosecutions within the City of Tucson to a halt for nearly three years and obtained breath test suppressions and dismissals in hundreds of DUI cases.

He has represented former Supremes lead singer Diana Ross and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Tight-End Jerramy Stevens on Extreme DUI charges and fitness guru Richard Simmons on an assault charge.


Mr. Nesci is a team-player within the Southern Arizona DUI Defense Community. He is often involved in large-scale challenges to DUI investigative methods and chemical testing. His opinion is sought by DUI Attorneys across the nation on various issues. He is one of only a handful of attorneys in the country who holds a DOT-Compliant Permit to operate an Intoxilyzer® 8000. He owns both an Intoxilyzer® 5000 & 8000 which are used for in-court demonstrations and for research purposes. He is qualified to administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & International Association of Chiefs of Police Guidelines.


Mr. Nesci has lectured from coast-to-coast for such organizations as The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Arizona State University College of Law Alumni Association, the University of Mississippi CLE Department, South Texas College of Law CLE Department, Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Arizona Public Defenders Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, City of Phoenix & Maricopa County Public Defender's Offices, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Indiana Public Defender’s Council, Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Maricopa County Bar Association, Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, the Mexican-American Bar Association at Loyola, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National College for DUI Defense, the Nevada State Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Pima County Bar Association, Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Tucson City Public Defender’s Office and the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice.


He has taught seminars on the subjects of Ethics, 4th Amendment Law, Drug Recognition Evaluations (DUI-Drugs/DRE), Cross-Examination, Trial Tactics, Jury Selection, Field Sobriety Testing, Blood Alcohol Calculations, Opening & Closing Arguments, Source Code Litigation, Frye & Daubert Challenges, Intoxilyzer 8000 Operator’s Course, Headspace Gas Chromatography, Blood and Breath Testing.


He is a frequent guest of the John C. Scott radio program in Tucson. The Tucson Weekly named Mr. Nesci "King of the DUI Defense" (December 19, 2002). He has appeared on CNN, Inside Edition, Celebrity Justice, Fox News, Access Hollywood, Court TV and National Public Radio.


Mr. Nesci is married with twin daughters. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Navy. His interests are traveling, fine wines, port and fast cars. He is an amateur race car driver, mechanic, and a Corvette fanatic.

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