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Costa Mesa Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal allegations and convictions have serious consequences that can affect you for life. It is key to hire a top Costa Mesa criminal defense attorney or Costa Mesa DUI lawyer with the skills to guide and defend you. There is no substitute for experience if you are facing a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge, DUI or police investigation.

Our lawyers have 75+ years and 8,500+ cases of experience helping people like you eliminate the stress and consequences that come from criminal charges.

While we relish court battles, we know the key goal is to secure the most favorable outcome possible for you. That can come in a full dismissal by the DA, a carefully negotiated plea deal, or acquittal in a hard-fought court trial.


The DA’s case is rarely perfect

Our Costa Mesa criminal attorney’s job is to understand your goals, what happened and what the DA must prove. Then we build the best defense for your unique case and facts. We often focus on exposing weaknesses in the DA’s case by showing:

  1. Your actions were accidental (usually a DA must prove criminal intent),
  2. Problems with testimony or evidence, or
  3. Any of these 17 crime defenses apply.

Former prosecutor defending you

As former Orange County DAs, we know the inner workings of the courts and how best to navigate you through the criminal justice system. Our Costa Mesa criminal lawyers:

Call (949) 750-2500 for a FREE consultationWe offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.

Costa Mesa criminal defense resources

Top-rated Costa Mesa criminal defense attorneys

Chudnovsky Law is a team of accomplished Costa Mesa criminal defense lawyers with over six decades experience defending those caught in the grip of the criminal justice system. When you need expert legal advice and defense, you can count on us.

Our attorneys are ranked Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers and rated best criminal defense lawyers in Orange County by

  • Tsion Chudnovsky has 20+ years experience practicing law and handling criminal defense, DUI defense and immigration law cases. She is a leading authority in criminal defense for both U.S. and foreign citizens. Read full bio →
  • Robert K. Weinberg is a renowned trial lawyer and former Orange County prosecutor with 30+ years experience handling over 5,000 cases and 100+ jury trials. His reputation and experience speak for themselves. Robert is a legal authority in state and federal criminal defense and professional licensing defense. Read full bio →
  • Suzanne Crouts has 20+ years experience practicing law. Suzanne is an accomplished criminal defense attorney and professional license defense attorney that has handled over 1,700 cases, jury trials, and administrative hearings. Read full bio →
  • Melissa DuChene is a pre-eminent professional license defense and criminal defense attorney. Melissa has extensive experience representing licensed professionals in front of their licensing boards and in criminal courts. Read full bio →
  • David Stein is tenacious criminal defense attorney with a broad range of experiences in all aspects of criminal defense. David has an outstanding record of client successes in criminal and DUI defense cases. Read full bio →

Highly-rated attorneys

Chudnovsky Law attorneys have been recognized by clients, lawyer ratings authorities and professional colleagues as amongst the top-rated criminal defense attorneys in California. You can read client testimonials and ratings here, including:

Excellent results on tough cases

Our attorneys have achieved exceptional results in Orange County courthouses, including:

  • Felony drug trafficking charges involving 50kg of cocaine with potential 20 year prison time. The case ended in our client’s favor with a not guilty verdict at trial.
  • Felony grand theft charges with a potential of four years in prison. The case ended with a favorable result of a misdemeanor charge with no jail time
  • Non-US citizen facing felony corporal injury charges with a potential of 1-year jail sentence. The case ended in our client’s favor with a not guilty jury verdict.
  • Felony domestic violence by a foreign citizen with the potential of 2 years in jail with the risk of deportation. We were able to get the case dismissed with no immigration consequences for our client.

View recent case results in Orange County →

Misdemeanor and felony criminal cases we handle

Our Orange County felony lawyer advises and defends clients during all stages of Costa Mesa criminal justice matters, starting at the investigation phase:

  1. Pre-filing, which includes stepping in during the police investigation and negotiating with the District Attorney or law enforcement investigators to get charges dropped/reduced before filed.
  2. Court hearings and appearances, motions, bail bonds, protective orders, temporary restraining orders, warrants and more.
  3. Plea negotiations can be handled on your behalf, including drafting and negotiating plea deals to minimize penalties and charges against you.
  4. Court trials and jury trials.
  5. Probation and parole violations.
  6. Post conviction relief, appeals and criminal record expungement.

Chudnovsky Law handles felony and misdemeanor cases throughout Orange County, Costa Mesa and all surrounding areas, including: Westside Costa Mesa, Mesa Del Mar, South Coast Plaza, Mesa Verde, Santa Ana Heights and Monticello Community for:

  • Costa Mesa assault and battery crime
  • Costa Mesa criminal immigration matters
  • Costa Mesa domestic violence
  • Costa Mesa drug crimes
  • Costa Mesa DUI
  • Costa Mesa DUI with injury, felony DUI
  • Costa Mesa federal crimes
  • Costa Mesa grand theft auto
  • Costa Mesa juvenile crimes
  • Costa Mesa lewd conduct
  • Costa Mesa professional license defense
  • Costa Mesa robbery
  • Costa Mesa sex crimes
  • Costa Mesa grand and petty theft
  • See all practice areas

Costa Mesa criminal immigration lawyer

Criminal defense for immigrant noncitizens is a complex specialty area of law. All non-US citizens face the risk of losing their visas and may be deported for crimes.

Tsion Chudnovsky is an accomplished Costa Mesa criminal immigration attorney with expertise in defending noncitizens. With over 16 years of experience, Tsion represents all non-US citizens facing charges, including those with a:

  • Green card (permanent resident)
  • F1 student visa
  • Any visa, including H-1B, E-2, O-1, L-1 or L-2 visas

All noncitizens must hire a lawyer who understands the complexities of both immigration law and criminal defense.

Call (949) 750-2500 for Help Now

Our experienced attorneys know how to protect your record, your family and your future. We handle cases in Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County from our Newport Beach office.


Professional license criminal defense

Professional licensees can spend a decade or more earning their license. All that hard work and effort can be disrupted with a single criminal allegation or conviction. Nurses, dentists, accountants, doctors and pharmacists – anyone with a California professional license – faces the risk of losing their license and ability to practice.

Attorneys Robert Weinberg, Melissa DuChene, and Suzanne Crouts are a leading criminal defense lawyers and professional license defense attorneys. They represent all healthcare businesses and individuals in state and federal courts, licensing investigations and board hearings, including:

Chudnovsky Law represents individuals, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, senior care facilities and other healthcare corporations for any investigations or criminal charges, including:

  • DCA Department of Consumer Affairs investigations
  • Nurse DUI defense, Medical doctor DUI defense, Dentist DUI
  • DEA / FBI investigations
  • Nurse criminal defense, Medical license criminal defense
  • Criminal or DUI charges
  • Federal crimes
  • Insurance billing, Medicare or Medi-Cal fraud

Call (949) 750-2500 for a Free consultation to get answers to all your questions.

Criminal defense lawyer in Costa Mesa CA

Understanding Costa Mesa criminal justice process

If you are arrested and/or charged with a crime in Costa Mesa, your case will go through several stages:

1) Arrest and jail

  • After arrest, you will usually be taken to the Costa Mesa Police Department at 99 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, CA 92626 for booking. You can contact the Department at (714) 754-5280. This temporary jail is a type-1 facility with 32 beds used to hold inmates until release on bail, release on their own recognizance, transfer to Orange County Jail or a judge decides the inmate’s fate in the first court appearance
  • During arrest, you shouldn’t answer any questions without a Costa Mesa criminal attorney’s help. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • You can locate any inmate transferred to Orange County Jail custody by using the OC Sheriff’s Department online inmate search tool.

2) Posting bail

  • Courts set bail for Costa Mesa detainees using this bail schedule and other factors such as the judge’s flight risk assessment.
  • District Attorneys typically have 48 hours to charge you after arrest or they must release you. They must demonstrate “probable cause” a crime was committed by you to the judge to justify filing criminal charges.
  • You may be released by posting bail, getting released on your own recognizance, or if the filing District Attorney rejects the case, usually due to insufficient evidence. If not released, you’ll stay in jail until police transport you to court for your arraignment hearing.
  • The standard fee for bail bonds is 10% of the bail amount. Chudnovsky Law has a bail relationship that offers our clients a discounted 7% fee.

3) Arraignment

  • Costa Mesa criminal cases are handled at West Justice Center at 8141 13th Street, Westminster, CA 92683. Call 657-622-5900 for general info.
  • Your Orange County misdemeanor defense attorney can appear for you for most misdemeanor offenses. For felony cases and some charges, such as domestic violence offenses, you will need to appear.
  • Costa Mesa criminal matters are prosecuted by the OC District Attorney Westminster Office.
  • During your West Justice Center arraignment, the judge and DA will explain the charges against you, what your rights are and ask you how you wish to plea: not guilty, guilty, or no contest.

4) After arraignment

  • Varying steps are taken after arraignment, depending on whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
  • During this pre-trial phase, defendants are able to change their plea, make pre-trial motions and negotiate a plea agreement with the District Attorney. Prosecutors and your defense lawyer will exchange “discovery” information and evidence.

5) Trial

  • If the prosecutor refuses to dismiss charges and both parties are unable to agree on a plea agreement or any other resolution to the case, then the case must be decided by a court or jury trial.
  • Trials typically only happen in 2% to 5% of cases.
  • In most cases, the accused has the right to select either: (1) a court judge-decided trial, or (2) a jury decided trial

Life can change the moment you’re arrested. The experience is stressful, investigations and cases can drag on, and you face potential jail or prison time. It is easy to make wrong decisions or to be pressured by the DA to sign an unfair plea deal.

This is why it is critical to get expert counsel to guide and protect you. Our Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer has successfully defended thousands of people facing charges, just like you.

“Attorney Nicole Enyart recently handled a complex case for me. She and her office did an excellent job. We were hoping for a plea reduction to dry reckless on a Santa Barbara DUI charge. Ms Enyart got the charges dismissed entirely with no fines. I can highly recommend her and her firm to anyone looking for an excellent criminal defense attorney.”



Speak to a top Costa Mesa criminal lawyer

Call (949) 750-2500 for help now to protect your future and freedom. Our experienced team is ready to immediately start on your defense.

Chudnovsky Law is located at 23 Corporate Plaza Dr, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660. We are near Costa MesaSouth Coast Plaza, and Fountain Valley. You can call us at (949) 750-2500, we are open 24 hours. We represent clients throughout Costa Mesa and all of Orange County, CA.

Getting to Chudnovsky Law from Costa Mesa is easy. Take CA-55 S/State Rte 55 S, then merge onto CA-1 S towards San Diego. Turn left on Corporate Plaza Dr. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Corporate Plaza Dr. Turn right to stay on Corporate Plaza Dr. Chudnovsky Law will be on your left.

Orange County


23 Corporate Plaza Dr, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(213) 212-5002



This information does not constitute legal advice. No representations are made as to its accuracy and appropriate legal counsel should be consulted before taking any actions. Contact us to see if Chudnovsky Law is the best Costa Mesa criminal defense attorney for you.

We represent clients throughout Orange County and the following Costa Mesa, CA zip codes: 92626, 92627, 92628, 92646 and 92707.

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Written by Tsion Chudnovsky and David Stein

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