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About me

I am the senior DUI attorney in the Central San Joaquin Valley, which incldues the counties of Fresno, Madera, Merced and Kings.  I have been defending persons accused of DUI, as well as vehicular manslaughter cases since 1977.


During my career, I have tried over 100 DUI Jury Trials involving both alcohol and drugs.  I have tried both felony and misdemeanor DUI trials involving vehicular manslaughter and DUI with injury cases.


Prior to becoming a lawyer, I was a Fresno County Deputy Sheriff and a California Highway Patrol officer in Fresno and Madera counties.  I have an unique perspective on how to defend a DUI case based on my past law enforcement career.


After passing the California State Bar, I was employed as a Fresno County Deputy District Attorney.  I found that defending a person accused of DUI was more challenging and intellectually rewarding than the prosecution of a DUI case.


I have completed advance training with respect to Field Sobriety Testing and evaluation of blood and breath results as they relate to DUI prosecutions.  I have completed the student and instructor courses for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) DUI detection and standardized Field Sobriety Testing in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Nashville, Tennessee.  On November 6, 2011, in Chicago, IL, I was successful in being certified by Axion Laboratory of Chicago, IL, in completing a 40 hour course in mastering gas chromatography with respect to ethanol alcohol in blood samples obtained in DUI arrests by law enforcement.


I attend seminars annually in New Orleans, Louisiana, with respect to blood and breath testing in DUI prosecutions.


I attend advanced courses in DUI defense through my membership in the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard Law School campus at Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as seminars on mastering scientific evidence in blood and breath cases sponsored by the Texas Criminal Bar Association in Dallas, Texas in 2007.  I have also provided training for the Fresno County Public Defendant's Office on how to defend a DUI case; in addition, I assist other attorneys who need help or advice on defending a DUI prosecution.


I agreestively defend my clients accused of DUI, both in Court as well as at the Department of Motor Vehicles.


I am rated very high in legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 80%
    41 years, 3.72 thousand cases
  2. Criminal Defense: 20%
    41 years, 2 thousand cases



Fixed (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

21 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse James. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Arezou Bakhtjou

    Amazing at what he does and one of the best DUI lawyers. He works very hard for his clients and achieves great results. I highly endorse and recommend him.


    Arezou Bakhtjou Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Office of James E. Wasson

5151 North Palm Avenue Suite 100

Fresno, CA, 93704-2208


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certification in Mastering Gas ChromatographyAxion Laboratory, Chicago, IL2011
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2011
Mastering Scientific Evidence, Certificate of CompletionNational College for DUI Defense and Texas Criminal Lawyers Association2010
Certificate of Completion, Summer SessionNational College for DUI Defense2009
Mastering Scientific Evidence, Certificate of CompletionNational College for DUI Defense and Texas Criminal Lawyers Association2009
Certificate of Completion, Winter SessionNational College for DUI Defense2008
Mastering Scientific Evidence, Certificate of CompletionNational College for DUI Defense and Texas Criminal Lawyers Association2008
Certificate of Completion, Summer SessionNational College for DUI Defense2007
BV RatedMatindale Hubbell2002
BV RatedMatindale Hubbell2000
Recognition for Sitting Judge Pro TemFresno County Superior Court2000
Recognition for Sitting Judge Pro TemFresno County Superior Court1995
BV RatedMatindale Hubbell1982
BV RatedMatindale Hubbell1981
Certified Specialist - Family LawCalifornia Board of Legal Specialization1980
BV RatedMatindale Hubbell1980
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLaw Offices of James E. Wasson, Inc.1976 - Present
Deputy District AttorneyFresno County District Attorney1976 - 1977
State Traffic OfficerCalifornia Highway Patrol1965 - 1975
Deputy SheriffFresno County Sheriff1964 - 1965
Military Police OfficerUnites States Army1961 - 1964
Association namePosition nameDuration
National College of DUI DefenseMember2004 - Present
California Deuce DefendersMember1994 - Present
Fresno County Attorneys for Criminal JusticeFounder1987 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember1980 - Present
Fresno County Bar AssociationMember1976 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1976 - Present
United States District Court for the Eastern District of CaliforniaMember1976 - Present
Supreme Court of CaliforniaMember1976 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember1976 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. Hamiltonmunicipal police department jurisdiction
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
San Joaquin College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1975
California State University, FresnoN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1970
Fresno City CollegeN/AAssociate of Arts1968
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Public Defender TrainingDUI Training2009
Public Defender TrainingBreath Testing2007
California State University FresnoCriminal Law1987