James L. Riotto - Criminal Defense Lawyer

Serving Monroe County, Orleans County, Livingston County, Wayne County, Genesee County, and Ontario county

James L. Riotto is a lawyer in Rochester who has an impressive law enforcement background combined with substantial criminal defense experience. His extensive experience as a state trooper and within law enforcement and criminal prosecution has provided him with a unique perspective that sets him apart from other Rochester criminal defense attorneys. Clients get the benefit of an attorney with a clear understanding of both sides of their legal issues.

State and federal law enforcement experience

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Riotto graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, Georgia with honors, and subsequently took positions as an officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and then with the New York State Department of Corrections. After being certified as a New York State Police Officer at the University Police Department at SUNY Oswego, in 2000 he became a New York State Trooper specializing in criminal investigations, traffic enforcement and DWI.

Mr. Riotto’s education and experience provide him with detailed knowledge of the various systems, policies and procedures utilized by New York and federal law enforcement agencies. As a New York State Certified Instructor, he educated New York police recruits before deciding to use his experience to pursue a career in the legal field.

Legal background in criminal prosecution and defense

Mr. Riotto began his legal career by completing internships with state, city, county and federal judges in New York. In those positions, he researched various civil and criminal issues and assisted with drafting judicial opinions. During law school, he worked at the New York State Liquor Authority, where he reviewed investigative reports, Alcohol Beverage Control ("ABC") violations and liquor license applications, and helped decide whether to approve or deny the applications.

Before beginning his practice as a Rochester criminal defense attorney, Mr. Riotto took a position with the New York State Attorney General's Office, Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, where he researched investigations, drafted criminal charges and assisted in many high-profile criminal investigations into state agencies, including the New York State Police. Mr. Riotto went on to work at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, Major Offense Bureau, where he contributed to prosecuting several felony criminal matters, including DWI offenses.

In 2008, Mr. Riotto received the Daniel S. Dwyer Fellowship Stop DWI Award, established in 2001 and awarded to a law student to assist in the prosecution of DWI cases. The fellowship recipient must have achieved superior academic standing and have demonstrated an interest in criminal law. As a Rochester DWI attorney, he is able to utilize the experience he gained in that role.

Contact an attorney in Rochester with extensive experience in criminal matters

The Law Office of James L. Riotto fights to protect clients in New York, with a focus on the city of Rochester and the counties of Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Orleans, Genesee and Livingston. Call Riotto Law Office at 866-772-2122 or contact us online to schedule and learn how we can help.

Practice areas

  • General Practice
  • College Student Criminal Defense
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Parole and Probation Violations
  • Drug-Related Crimes
  • Felony Cases
  • Drug Crimes
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Money Laundering
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Sex Crimes
  • Sexual Assault
  • Weapons Charges
  • Burglary
  • Assault and Battery
  • Extortion


  • New York, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (federal practice), 2017


Professional associations


  • New York State Police Superintendents Accommodation Award, 2007
  • New York State Police DWI Arrest Recognition Award, 2003, 2004 and 2005

Training programs

  • Special Weapons, Self-Defense Training
  • U.S. Marshal Training for High Profile Escort
  • U.S. Secret Service Prisoner Transport
  • Instructor Development Training, New York State Police
  • Adjunct instructor at the Bryant and Stratton paralegal instructor program
  • Adjunct criminal law and procedure instructor at The College at Brockport University