James Nesci

James Nesci: Attorney with Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


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, P.L.L.C. in January, 2005. In an effort to contribute more to the DUI Defense cause, on January 1st, 2010, he became a partner in the firm Nesci & St. Louis, P.L.L.C. where, in addition to writing books on DUI defense in Tucson and Arizona State, he works on large-scale challenges to DUI laws and investigatory techniques. Mr. Nesci has achieved the highest rating for legal ability in Martindale-Hubbell and has been named one of The Best Lawyers in America® for 2010.

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 is one of only two Board Certified attorneys in the State of Arizona 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 a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee and often serves as an oral argument judge for the Board Certification Committee.

He is the author of Arizona DUI Defense: The Law & Practice, 2nd Edition, a legal treatise written for DUI lawyers in Tucson and throughout Arizona state and published by Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company. He is co-author of Oklahoma DUI Defense: The Law & Practice, 1st Edition and Texas DWI Defense: The Law & Practice, 1st Edition. 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 between five and ten DUI cases in several jurisdictions. His particular area of interest is Driving Under the Influence of Drugs cases and he is one of only a handful of attorneys in the country who concentrates on this area of the law.

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 was one of less than a dozen DUI attorneys in the country who has ever held 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.

Current Publications:


· The Slope Detector Does Not Always Detect the Presence of Mouth Alcohol, The Champion, Vol. XXX, No. 2, March, 2006, Authors: Michael P. Hlastala, Wayne J. Lamm, & James Nesci. Publisher: NACDL.

· Anti-Drunk Driving Group Wants New Prohibition Era, At Issue: Drunk Driving, Editor: Tamara Thompson. Publisher: Greenhaven Press & Thomson/Gale, 2008.

Consumer Books:

· How to Beat a DUI. Authentic Anatomical Publishing 2008

Legal Treatises:

· Arizona DUI Defense: The Law & The Practice. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2006. Author: James Nesci. www.lawyersandjudges.com

· Arizona DUI Defense: The Law & The Practice, 2nd Edition. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2009. Author: James Nesci. www.lawyersandjudges.com

· Oklahoma DUI Defense: The Law & The Practice. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2008 Authors: Bruce Edge, John Hunsucker & James Nesci. www.lawyersandjudges.com

· Texas DWI Defense: The Law & The Practice. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2009. Author: Mimi Coffey & James Nesci. www.lawyersandjudges.com

Contributing Author:

· Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, 5th Edition. Chapter 15: Defense of Driving Under the Influence Cases Editor: Dr. James C. Garriott. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2008

· Drinking/Driving Litigation. Chapter 20, Intoxilyzer 8000. Thomson/West 2007 Authors: Nichols & Whited

Awards, Certifications & Significant Courses:

• Board Certified, National College for DUI Defense, 2001-2006. Re-certified 2006—. (Certification Recognized by the American Bar Association).

• Achieved the highest rating for legal ability in Martindale-Hubbell

• The Best Lawyers in America: Specialty Area: DUI/DWI Defense

• Standardized Field Sobriety Test Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2007.

• Intoxilyzer 8000 Breath Alcohol Technician, U.S. Department of Transportation (Valid: 1/22/05-1/22/10)

• Medicolegal Death Investigation, Pima Community College, Corporate & Community Education, July, 1995.

• AVVO: Superb Rating; Speciality: 100% DUI/DWI

Current Positions:

• Partner: Nesci & St. Louis PLLC, Tucson, Arizona 2010—

• Regent: National College for DUI Defense 2006—

Past Positions:

• Managing Partner: Nesci & St. Louis PLLC 2005-2009

bull; Solo Practitioner: Law Office of James Nesci, P.C. 1995-2004.

National College for DUI Defense (Regent, 2006—).

Areas of Practice (1)


Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
520-369-5463  Phone
520-622-1222  Phone
520-624-7817  Fax
University Attended:
University of Arizona, B.A., Creative Writing, cum laude, 1991
Law School Attended:
University of Arizona College of Law, J.D., 1994
Year of First Admission:
1994, Arizona; 1994, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona; 1995, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; 2010, U.S. Supreme Court
Pima County Bar Association; Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice; The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; National College for DUI Defense.
United States Navy, Honorably Discharged, 1984
Hobbies & interests:
Traveling, fine wines, port and fast cars. He is an amateur race car driver, mechanic, and a Corvette fanatic.
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard
  • Free Initial Consultation

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (1 review)
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
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Tucson, Arizona

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