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James Richard Askew

Criminal defense Attorney at Santa Barbara, CA

4.4   7 reviews
  • Licensed for 24 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2000
    Active No misconduct found

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

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    At Tri Counties Criminal Defense we can provide representation for every offense from felonies to misdemeanors. We are criminal defense attorneys and that is all we do.

    20 years, 1,000 cases

  2. DUI and DWI

    19 years, 200 cases

  3. Domestic violence

I have dedicated the last twenty years of my professional career to the Criminal Justice system, helping those unfortunate enough to find themselves in our criminal justice system.  

It is an intimidating and overwhelming process, and it is a scarey and dangerous path to  those who have never traveled down it before.  I can help guide you through it.

My father was a criminal defense attorney for years...  People would come up to us when I was younger and thank him again and again for his help.  Families of his clients would spontaneously embrace him thanking him for keeping their husband or son out of jail.   

It is easy to point the finger and condemn.  It takes a mental and physical courage to believe in someone when no one else will.  To those whom have already been condemned without others hearing the full story,

I can help.

You can read about my experience, I have been an attorney for over 18 years, I rose through the ranks of the Shasta Public Defender's office where I did felony trials as a Deputy Public Defender III.  How I have letters of recommendations from all my past employers. About how many trials I have done.   And how I defended one of the largest Ponzi Scheme cases ever brought by the California Attorney General's office...  But its the cases where I successfully defended a father who was looking at years in prison for something he did not do.  That is the 'experience' I want you to read instead.  Or how I received a letter from another man who fought many battles with drugs.  I was able to get him into residential treatment (despite the opposition by the District Attorney).  He wrote to me years later thanking me.  He's been clean and sober for years and was getting married.  He wrote that my efforts in getting him help saved his life.  He would have problably gone to prison, would have gotten out, and would have overdosed afterwards. It was that bit of me caring enough to go against the DA's and putting in that extra work to get him help that saved him.    Last I heard of him, he was married and had a good job with a family on the way.  It is those experiences that make the hard work I do for my clients worth it.    



Photos and videos

Giving closing arguments in Jury Trial. P v. Nugent.


Tri Counties Criminal Defense
5276 Hollister Avenue, Suite 455
Suite 455
Santa Barbara, CA, 93111
Tri Counties Criminal Defense
1301 Chorro Street, Suite A
Ste. # 220
San Luis Obispo, CA, 93111
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4.4 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Mark | October 20, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Smart Decision/Smart Representation
From my first inquiry to Central Coast Criminal Defense I received valuable advice and attention. The team at Central CCCD provided three experienced attorneys to represent me and my case, providing a broad wealth of experience and advice. Phone calls, questions and inquiries were always met with professional and prompt attention. When criminal charges are brought against you, it becomes an overwhelming and daunting experience. It is imperative that you have confidence in those you hire to represent you. Should a criminal charge be leveled against you, prudence suggests that you make phone calls and inquires with as many attorneys as possible, and Central Coast Criminal Defense deserves your early review. Should an emergent situation require immediate attention, you can have confidence in the representation of Jimmy Askew and his team. All costs, advice on immediate and future steps in your defense, and a candid evaluation of your options are clearly presented. Truly valuable relief in a very stressful situation.
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Posted by Joey | November 30, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent defense
Mr.Askew has done nothing but an amazing job during his tenure as an attorney, I am speaking as a former client and aspiring attorney myself. He has defended myself and a few of the people I have referred to him who were charged with allegations that were unfair and unjust.if you have even an inkling of doubt that you may be innocent that is a for sure sign to contact Jimmie to see what can be done with your legal matter.
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Posted by Joseph | November 12, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best criminal defense
Mr. Askew was able to handle my case and gave me great advice. Mr . Askew was affordable and took our case right off the bat. He is very thorough and efficient in dealing with issues that arise. He was quick on his feet and seemed to always know the answers. Great criminal defense attorney. I would use his service again if needed.
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Posted by Corey Baker | August 23, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding performance!
I'm very pleased with the service I received from Jimi Askew. He was very professional and provided detailed information on the legal process. Jimi, you are amazing! You came into the middle of my case and just simply took control over things. You and Adrienne were there when no one else was and you two helped me beat a case that was a dark cloud over my head for a year. You came in after the original attorney I hired walked out on me. Jimi was there to guide me. With little time and a lot of hard work Jimi made it look easy, as if he had taken the case from the beginning. Jimi seems to have great knowledge and wisdom in the art of communication. Jimi assured me of the quality of my case, made me aware of the circumstances and all potential outcomes. He is a lawyer that makes sure you understand what's going on and never leaves you in the dark. Fantastic performance during trial, not once did you make a mistake. I couldn't thank you enough, Jimi. I truly appreciate your hard work. I would highly recommend Jimi Askew (Attorney at Law), he is honest, consistent and clever, knows what he's doing and gets he job done! "Not Guilty" sounded so good to hear. Thank you Mr. Askew!
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Posted by Tim | August 28, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great experience advocate!!
I am a lawyer as well and have worked with Mr. Askew over the years. When I got a bogus traffic ticket i knew to call Mr. Askew. He is an experienced litigator and is well respected. In the end Mr. Askew was able to get the case dismissed!! He is highly recomended!
Posted by Colten | August 27, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer
I was charged with serious felonies and Mr. Askew represented me during the jury trial. Mr. Askew fought hard during the trial and at the end, the jury found me not guilty. He saved my life and I got to go home to my family. I will hire Mr. Askew if I ever have any legal problems in the future!!!!!!
Posted by Mike | March 29, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
There is no way this guy has this good of a track record and such great reviews. Basically worst lawyer I have ever dealt with. Told me he would do the best he can to get rid of my bogus charges..but literally just lied ..took my money and did no work whatsoever. Actually seemed like he was more working in favor of the DA and criminal defense. This man is more of a scam artist than a lawyer....I would seriously even question if he is an actual lawyer and even went to law school. Seemed more like he took a one hour online school and printed out his diploma. This man did absolutely nothing he said he was going to do...and I would almost swear he didn't even bother even reading the paperwork and police report
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Response from James Askew April 1, 2024
I do not have a private client named "Mike" or "Michael." Nor have I ever received any money from you whatsoever. I suggest you ascertain exactly WHO you contracted with for your representation...because it was not me. Sincerely, James Askew.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Central Coast Criminal Defense
  • 2016 - Present
  • Attorney at Law
  • Law Office of James R. Askew III
  • 2010 - Present
  • Deputy Public Defender III
  • Shasta County Public Defender
  • 2006 - 2010
  • Attorney
  • Attorney At Law (Sole Practitioner)
  • 2000 - 2005
  • Instructor
  • University Of California, Santa Barbara
  • 1997 - 2005
View all work experience


  • Santa Barbara College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1999
  • Western International University
  • MS - Master of Science
  • 1990
  • New Mexico State University
  • BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration
  • 1988

Sample of Legal Cases

  • People v. Baker
  • Not Guilty
  • P v. Armitage
  • Settled
  • P v. Brimhall
  • Not Guilty
View all legal cases


  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2000 - 2018
  • Arizona State Board of Accountancy
  • CPA
  • 1995 - 2010
  • Arizona Society of CPAs
  • Member
  • 1995 - 2000
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Most Trials in a Year
  • Shasta Public Defender's office
  • 2007

Speaking Engagements

  • SLO County criminal bar association
  • New Bail Law: In Re Humphrey's
  • 2018

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (3)
Endorse James
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"James is a brilliant lawyer and widely respected in the local legal community. He has high ethics and a deep commitment to getting the best outcome for his clients. He has my full endorsement."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"An excellent, committed and well-prepared criminal defense attorney. I sat second chair with Jimmie for my first jury trial, and could not have achieved the NG verdict without him. He knows the law and fights hard for his clients. Jimmie Askew is building a name for himself on the central coast as a tough, committed criminal defense attorney who truly enjoys and excels at motions and trials. A good man, an outstanding attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Askew has a great reputation as a zealous advocate for his clients. I have had the opportunity to see him in jury trials and he is the best litigator I have been around. He is a superb strategist and gets results. Mr. Askew's experience, knowledge and passion is what makes him a great attorney!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 27
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Mr. Askew is a skilled, artful, passionate and well-equipped criminal defense attorney. I have personally seen Mr. Askew in trial while we each represented co-defendants in serious criminal cases. Mr. Askew has won NOT GUILTY verdicts in cases most lawyers might see as un-winnable. Mr. Askew brings insight, intelligence and a keen understanding of strategy to each case he defends. Mr. Askew has, and continues to be, a mentor of mine. He is absolutely the lawyer you want to talk to when you have a criminal case that needs a passionate and highly skilled defense."
Criminal defense