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  • Emerson Wheat Associate
  • Phone: 619-232-7080

    Fax: 619-232-7324

Emerson Wheat was admitted to the California and Colorado bars in 2011.  He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, where he received a Bachelors degree.  He earned a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law and an LLM from California Western School of law in Federal Criminal Litigation.

Mr. Wheat is a tenacious litigator who has extensive experience in trials and appeals. He was selected by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to be a member of the panel of attorneys who accept criminal cases under the Criminal Justice Act.

Mr. Wheat’s professional experience includes vigorous advocacy on behalf of federal and state clients accused of crimes.  Mr. Wheat’s time working for the Law Offices of Knut Johnson includes a wide variety of invaluable contributions, including trial work, sentencing advocacy, client consultation, negotiations with the government, state and federal appeals and petitions for writs of habeas corpus in California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and petitions for certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Wheat’s legal training in criminal defense includes juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony defense in California Superior Court, as well as federal criminal defense in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.  As an intern with the Office of the Primary Public Defender in San Diego, Mr. Wheat made frequent court appearances, argued numerous contested motions hearings, second-chaired misdemeanor trials.  Mr. Wheat’s Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in Trial Advocacy focused specifically on federal criminal defense in the Ninth Circuit.

With an undergraduate degree in psychology, Mr. Wheat’s professional career began as a group home counselor.  While there, Mr. Wheat witnessed first hand the undeniable correlation between poverty, crime, and recidivism.  Exposed to these glaring inequities facing California’s impoverished youth, Mr. Wheat sought to enter the field of criminal defense to provide assistance to those persons needing it the most: individuals whose very freedom hangs in the balance.

Practice Areas
  • California Criminal Defense;
  • Criminal Appeals;
  • Criminal Conspiracy;
  • Criminal Fraud;
  • Criminal Investigation;
  • Criminal Trials;
  • Domestic Violence;
  • Drug Crimes;
  • DUI Defense;
  • Federal Criminal Law;
  • Felonies;
  • Gun Crimes;
  • Habeas Corpus;
  • Homicide;
  • Internet Crimes;
  • Juvenile Criminal Law;
  • Mail Fraud;
  • Mortgage Fraud;
  • Misdemeanors;
  • Post-Conviction Remedies;
  • Property Crimes;
  • Racketeering Offenses;
  • Search and Seizure;
  • Sex Crimes;
  • Violent Crimes;
  • Wire Fraud;
  • Wiretapping
  • California Supreme Court, July 27, 2011;
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, August 2, 2011;
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, October 12, 2011;
  • Colorado Supreme Court, October 24, 2011; &
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, October 22, 2013.
Law Schools
  • California Western School of Law, LL.M. in Trial Advocacy, June 1, 2011; &
  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., May 16, 2009.
  • American Bar Association, 2011 - present;
  • California State Bar Association, 2011- present;
  • San Diego County Bar Association, 2011 - present;
  • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association, 2011 - present.
  • Federal Criminal Defense Trial Skills Academy, California Western School of Law, May 2011;
  • Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense/ Winning Strategies Seminar, Santa Fe, NM- February 2-4, 2012;
  • Defending Immigrants Partnership Training, Denver, CO- May 7-8, 2012;
  • California Appellate Defense Counsel Statewide Conference and Seminar, San Diego, CA- March 8-9, 2013;
  • Criminal Justice Act Annual Training, San Diego, CA- October 21, 2013, and;
  • National Criminal Defense College, Macon, Georgia 2015,