Top Los Angeles Criminal Defense & DUI Attorney
Dealing with an arrest, DUI or warrant can be frightening. Prosecution risks jail time, your job, license and your future. Our award-winning defense lawyers are here to help.
If you or a loved one is facing charges, you need a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer or Los Angeles DUI attorney on your side to protect you asap. All cases can potentially be won no matter how they appear on the surface.
If not, we will fight to get the best possible outcome, reduce charges and keep you out of jail. If you are facing DUI, misdemeanor or felony charges, we can help immediately.
Experienced Former Prosecutors Fighting For You
Our attorneys have an outstanding track record and experience successfully handling over 8,000 DUI and criminal cases. We know how the LA District Attorney, LAPD and courts work. And we know how to strategically navigate the legal system to protect you.
Most of the time we are able to make court appearance without you so you won’t have the hassle and aggravation of attending court hearings (unless you want to).
Knowledge You Can Trust
Often it isn’t the facts of the case that result in the best outcome, but experience with the legal system, relationships and a smart presentation of your side to the courts.
If you want the best possible outcome in your case, give us a call. We will fight hard to get your charges reduced or dropped to protect you, your record and your future.
Learn about the best defense strategies:
There are many ways to fight DUI cases and win. This detailed guide reviews the 20 best DUI defenses in 2019.
You are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Learn about the top defenses used by lawyers.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney,
Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
Recent Los Angeles criminal defense results:
Felony transportation and sale of 1kg of cocaine HS 11352, LA Court. Client facing 10 years in prison if convicted. Result: Not guilty verdict in jury trial.
Felony murder with gang enhancement 187 PC, Ventura Court. Client facing life without possibility of parole. Result: Not guilty verdict in jury trial.
Felony rape and aggravated assault 261 PC and 245(a) PC, Torrance Court. Client facing 20 years in prison if convicted. Result: Reduced to 236 PC false imprisonment, 2 years w credit for time served.
Felony corporal injury to spouse with enhancement for great bodily injury 273.5 PC, West Covina Court. Client facing 7 years prison if convicted. Result: Reduced to 242 PC misdemeanor simple battery with no jail time.
Felony battery on a police officer by non-US citizen 243(c)(2) PC, LAX Airport Court. Client facing up to 16 months jail and deportation. Result: Reduced to misdemeanor, no jail time, no immigration consequence.
Felony corporal injury on spouse by non-US citizen 273.5 PC, Metro Court. International executive faced 2 years in prison and aggravated felony conviction causing deportation and inadmissibility to U.S. Result: Case dismissed, no immigration consequence.
Felony grand theft by international student 459.5 PC, LAX Airport Court. Student facing jail and deportation. Result: Charges dismissed, formal diversion program, student could continue education.
Recent Los Angeles DUI defense results:
Felony 6th DUI involving accident with great bodily injury, Torrance Court. Client facing up to 16 years prison. Result: 180 days jail.
Felony DUI, Clara Shortridge Court. Non-US citizen faced 16 mo jail, deportation. Result: Reduced to misdemeanor, no jail, no immigration consequence.
1st DUI, LAX Airport Court. Result: Not guilty verdict in court trial.
1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC and 100+mph speeding in residential zone, Torrance Courthouse. Client facing up to 240 days jail. Result: No jail.
2nd DUI while on probation for 1st, East LA Court. Result: No jail.
1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC, international executive faced 6 mo jail, losing job. Result: Reduced to wet reckless, no jail, no immigration consequence.
1st DUI enhanced due to .28 BAC and high speed, non-US citizen faced 6 mo jail and deportation. Result: 15 days ankle monitor, no jail, no immigration consequence.
1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC, high speed, El Monte Court. Result: No jail.
1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC and high speed, Metro Court. Non-US citizen facing up to 6 mo jail. Result: No jail, no immigration consequence.
Los Angeles DUI resources:
Los Angeles criminal defense resources:
LA DUI Defense
Los Angeles DUI Attorney
Getting arrested for DUI in LA is a serious matter that can risk your driver's license and have a major impact on your personal and professional life. But drunk driving is a charge our lawyers know how to defeat.
Our skilled DUI lawyers know how to negotiate reduced charges, save your license, suppress evidence to get your case dismissed or win at trial.
Challenging a DWI is almost always smarter than just pleading guilty. Our former District Attorney and Public Defense lawyer know the LA County legal system inside out and how to achieve the best outcome possible for you.
We Appear for You in Court and DMV Hearings
Usually you will not need to appear in court or the DMV hearing unless you wish to. Our Los Angeles drunk driving defense lawyers can handle everything for you.
LA courts process 37,559 DUI arrests per year, or 23% of California’s 160,388 arrests in the entire state (1). And our experienced lawyers have successfully handled thousands of cases including:
1st, 2nd or 3rd multiple misdemeanor DUI
Bodily injury and Felony DUI
Drug, marijuana DUI
DUI involved accidents with property damage
Foreign citizen DUI with immigration issues
Vehicular manslaughter and “Watson murder” cases
Los Angeles DUI Injury Lawyer
Under California law, consequences increase substantially when DUI is the cause of an accident with injury. It is key to hire a Los Angeles DUI injury attorney experienced in fighting these tough cases.
California Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152(b) call for increasing the charge from misdemeanor DUI to felony DUI when injuries occurs. Los Angeles district attorneys usually file all DUI injury charges as felonies, even when there are only slight injuries.
While felony consequences can be severe (prison time, felony conviction, restitution), our skilled attorneys know all the best ways to defend DUI with injury charges. Call for a Free case consultation.
Why hire a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles?
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe. Even though DWI cases are challenging, they can be won. Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys successfully defend DUI cases all the time.
DUI cases are almost never hopeless
Evidence that seems strong can be tossed out by the court. Law enforcement officers can bungle stops and DUI investigations by not following required procedures. BAC tests are prone to error and there are many ways they can provide falsely high alcohol readings.
Depending on your case, there are many ways a skilled DUI lawyer can dramatically improve the outcome:
1) Get your charges dismissed in full
This is the most favorable outcome because your record will be totally clear. This can happen if key evidence is disqualified, if there is insufficient evidence to charge, or if your DUI attorney Los Angeles successfully negotiates dismissal.
2) Negotiate a reduction in charges & penalties
When a case cannot be dismissed nor defeated in a court trial, this is your best outcome. DUI fines and consequences are defined by statute in California, so your lawyer’s goal is to reduce the charges to something with lower consequences.
For example, if a DUI is reduced to dry reckless driving (California Vehicle Code 23103 VC), it has greatly reduced penalties including no SR22 insurance, not being considered a "priorable" offense for future DUI charges, and reduced penalties and fines. Our DUI attorneys know the courts, the LA District Attorneys and how to achieve the best outcome for you.
3) Work to save your driver’s license
DUI charges trigger both a criminal court process and a separate DMV Admin Per Se hearing (APS). The DMV provides a short 10 day window to request an APS hearing to dispute the automatic suspension of your license. They strictly enforce the deadline.
If you do not request the APS hearing in time, the DMV will automatically suspend your license after 30 days.
Chudnovsky Law has an expert, former DMV hearing officer represent you at the DMV hearing to argue to save your license. Our experts have handled thousands of DMV hearings and are skilled at utilizing the process to work to save your driver’s license.
4) Win an acquittal in trial
If you and your lawyer decide to fight your case in a court trial, acquittal is when the court determines you are not guilty of the charges. Our experienced lawyers know how to vigorously fight a case in trial and when a trial is in your best interest.
A skilled DUI lawyer Los Angeles will carefully review all case evidence, the D.A. and the assigned judge to evaluate the odds of success and compare them to the best outcome that can be negotiated. In general, your odds of acquittal are higher if your DUI attorney can successfully argue that key evidence is inadmissible or flawed.
Call (213) 212-5002 for a Free, confidential case review.
The sooner you contact us to begin your defense the better.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is under investigation or charged with a crime, call us for a free consultation. Our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys have handled over 8,000 cases and jury trials involving virtually every type of charge.
We are dedicated to protecting you and achieving the best possible outcome in your case. Often we represent clients under investigation, working with the D.A. office or U.S. Attorney prosecutors to show why a case should be dropped or reduced before charges are even filed.
Foreign citizen criminal defense
Lewd Conduct in Public, Penal Code 647(a) PC
Internet Sex Crime
Sexual Assault, Statutory Rape
Criminal Sexual Conduct, Sex Solicitation
Prostitution, Penal Code 647(b) PC
White collar crimes
Identity Theft, Penal Code 530.5 PC
Financial Crimes, Tax Crimes
Credit Card Fraud, 484e PC, 484f PC, 484g PC, 484h PC, 484i PC, 484j PC
Extortion, Fraud, Embezzlement
Forgery, Penal Code 470 PC
Insurance Fraud, Penal Code 550 PC
Welfare Fraud, Welfare and Institutions Code 10980 WI
Theft and burglary
Theft Crimes, Penal Codes 484 PC, 459 PC, 487 PC, 496 PC
Armed Robbery, Burglary, Penal Code 459 PC
Credit Card Theft
Misdemeanor Theft, Shoplifting, Petty Theft 484 PC
Federal Crime Defense
Receiving Stolen Property
Recall arrest warrants
California bench warrant
Quash arrest warrant, search warrant
Federal criminal defense
White Collar Crimes, Federal Financial Crimes
Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud
Interstate Drug Crimes
Money Laundering, Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion
Insider Trading, Securities Fraud, Bank Fraud, Forgery
Assault and violent crimes
Assault, Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC
Aggravated Assault, Assault with Intent to Murder
Hit and Run, Kidnapping, Penal Code 207 PC
Weapons Charge, Gun Law and Charges, Felony Firearm
Homicide, Penal Code 187 PC, 191.5 PC, 192 PC
Arson, Penal Code 451 PC
Robbery, Penal Code 211 PC
Conspiracy, Penal Code 182 PC, Extortion, Penal Code 518 PC
Drug crimes defense
LA Pot Dispensary Violations, Marijuana Crimes
Making Hash Oil, Honey Oil
Possession with Intent to Deliver
Drug Distribution and Sales
Prescription Drug Charges
Federal & Major Felony Drug Trafficking
Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing
DUI drunk driving
DUI, Driving While Intoxicated, 23152(a) VC, 23152(b) VC
Vehicular Assault and Manslaughter
Felony Drunk Driving
Child Endangerment, Drunk in Public
Criminal Defense in Spanish, French and Italian
Chudnovsky Law’s multi-lingual criminal defense attorneys are native Spanish, French, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese and Amharic speaking lawyers. Our firm has extensive experience representing non-US citizens on criminal defense matters and knows how to navigate the complicated intersection of immigration and criminal defense issues.
You can read more about our multi-lingual criminal defense services at:
California DUI consequences by type of DUI
Most DUI penalties can either be dramatically reduced or eliminated if the charges are dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Even the DMV license suspension may be avoided if you act quickly and hire a DUI lawyer. A skilled DUI defense lawyer Los Angeles can request a DMV hearing to save your license and use a range of negotiation and defense strategies to achieve the best possible outcome to your case.
California DUI laws define penalties by type of DUI as follows:
USC DUI Lawyer | UCLA DUI Lawyer
Chudnovsky Law represents students for DUI and criminal defense at all universities in LA county including: USC, UCLA, East Los Angeles College, Santa Monica College, California State University Northridge, and Los Angeles City College. USC students that are arrested for DUI should contact Chudnovsky Law's USC DUI lawyer.
The University of Southern California (USC) reported 11,387 international students in Fall 2017, making USC one of the largest international student universities in the United States. International F1 student visa DUI causes a variety of complications because an F1 visa is revoked due to DUI or criminal arrests.
International students facing DUI or criminal charges should consult with the immigration and criminal defense attorneys of Chudnovsky Law in order to minimize the effects on their ability to continue to study in the US. UCLA students arrested for DUI should contact Chudnovsky Law’s UCLA DUI lawyer to skillfully fight their case.
Medical and Nurse License DUI Lawyer
Criminal and DUI convictions are often used as a basis to discipline nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other medical healthcare professionals. Our professional license defense lawyers have the rare capability to represent licensed professionals in front of California licensing boards and for DUI in LA courts:
DUI Defense in Spanish and French
Chudnovsky Law lawyers are native French, Italian and Spanish speaking attorneys offering multi lingual service. You can read more about DUI defense in other languages at:
What is the DUI conviction rate in Los Angeles?
Analysis by the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows that LA Superior courts have the lowest DUI conviction rate amongst Southern California counties, but equal to the statewide average conviction rate of 73.7% in 2013.
Southern California DUI conviction rates by county:
Los Angeles County: 73.7%
San Bernardino County: 75.4%
San Diego County: 81.6%
Riverside County: 84.8%
Ventura County: 87.6%
Orange County: 91.2%
California Average: 73.7%
How long do LA courts take to process a DUI case?
Mean time from arrest to court conviction in each LA Superior Court location:
San Fernando: 50 days
Van Nuys: 53 days
LA Metro: 55 days
Lancaster: 70 days
Pomona: 79 days
Long Beach: 83 days
West Covina: 90 days
Whittier: 94 days
LAX Airport: 99 days
Bellflower: 102 days
Torrance: 103 days
Pasadena: 111 days
Beverly Hills: 123 days
Downey: 124 days
While every case is unique, analysis by the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows that Los Angeles Superior courts vary widely in the average time they take to adjudicate DUI cases. In the 15 LA courts with the most DUI cases, the mean time from DUI violation to conviction ranged from 50 days to 124 days from arrest to conviction. (4)
Number of DMV Admin per se license actions per year
DMV license suspension or revocation actions are triggered by law enforcement reporting a DUI arrest, DUI probation violation or blood alcohol chemical test refusal. In 2016, the California DMV scheduled Admin Per Se (APS) license hearings on 36% of all California DUIs.
There are several ways our team works to stop the DMV suspension of your license including our former DMV hearing officer challenging the suspension in the APS hearing. You can read here: how we work to save your license.
California DMV APS license actions break down as follows by type of triggering event: (5)
1st time DUI: 61%
Multiple DUI: 24%
Refused Blood Alcohol Test: 7%
Under 21 or probation: 6%
Commercial driver DUI: 2%
Top 15 LA county cities with the most DUI arrests
According to the California Department of Transportation, an average of 111 million vehicle miles are driven per day on 1,173 LA freeway and highway miles on 42 state highways (6).
California Office of Traffic Safety law enforcement data shows the top 15 cities in LA County ranked by the number of DUI arrests per year are as follows: (7)
|Rank||City||Arrests for DUI|
How many DUI collisions and injuries occur in Los Angeles?
Even though LA County's population is growing, data from the CHP Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows DUI collisions declining from 2008 to 2017. Some predict the declines are due to the increase of Uber type services and law enforcement DUI prevention. (8)
DUI collisions declined 11% from 8,882 in 2008 to 7,926 in 2017
DUI injuries declined 9% from 3,448 in 2008 to 3,128 in 2017
DUI fatalities declined 32% from 104 in 2008 to 71 in 2017
Understanding the Los Angeles Legal System
LA County is by far the most populous county in the nation, including 158 cities and unincorporated places and 114 neighborhoods within the city of Los Angeles. The county’s 4,083 square miles are home to 10.1 million residents – over one quarter of California’s residents – and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States. (9)
LA District Attorney
The LA District Attorney’s Office is the largest local prosecutorial office in the US with nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys, 300 DA investigators and 800 support staff prosecuting more than 71,000 felony and 112,000 misdemeanor crimes each year.
Los Angeles Superior Court System
The LA Superior Court (LASC) is one of 58 superior courts created by Article VI of California's Constitution. LASC encompasses 88 cities, 140 unincorporated areas and over 90 law enforcement agencies. Chudnovsky Law is one of the top rated criminal law firms in Los Angeles representing clients in all courthouses including the Metropolitan Courthouse next door to our office in downtown LA.
LASC’s 38 courthouses are organized into 12 judicial districts throughout LA County. The LASC is known to be tough on criminal charges and, if charged, you should hire the best criminal defense attorney to defend you.
2017 LA Superior Court Annual Report criminal defense Los Angeles statistics: (10)
LASC provides interpreter services to all 600 LA County courtrooms for 89 languages including rare and indigenous dialects.
LASC has 580 judicial officers and more than 4,300 permanent employees. LA criminal court judges handle more than 200,000 criminal cases per year.
In 2017, LASC processed 38,513 felony and 97,152 misdemeanor criminal cases.
In 2017, the entire State of California court system processed 200,200 felony and 841,716 misdemeanor criminal case filings.
What are the crime rates of LA county cities?
Los Angeles County cities ranked by the number of crimes per 1,000 residents:
Santa Clarita: 15
Van Nuys: 19.7
Baldwin Park: 23.3
El Monte: 25.1
Redondo Beach: 27.8
West Covina: 28.2
Los Angeles: 31.9
Sherman Oaks: 35.3
Long Beach: 35.8
Huntington ParK: 41.1
Beverly Hills: 43.5
Santa Monica: 48.1
West Hollywood: 51.3
Culver City: 57
Cities with the most crime in LA county
While the above crime rates are per 1,000 residents, the LA County cities with the most absolute crimes reported rank much differently. Here are the top 25 cities ranked by number of total number of criminal charges filed: (13)
|City||Violent crimes||Property crimes|
What % of all LA criminal cases are dismissed or reduced?
The LA Superior Court system overall processed 39,149 felony cases and 101,225 non-traffic misdemeanor cases in 2016. These included the complete mix of types of cases, those represented by either Public Defenders or criminal defence lawyers and even defendants representing themselves. (14)
The following infographic (pdf) shows court statistics on criminal case dispositions:
Note: the court statistics above overstate criminal convictions since they count multiple charge cases as a single case and include a large percentage of cases where defendants are unable to pay for their defense and they plead guilty.
It is common for prosecutors to charge multiple charges initially, then reduce either the number and/or severity of charges as the case proceeds or a guilty plea is negotiated. Also skilled criminal defense counsel can significantly improve the results a defendant achieves over system wide averages.
How long do LA criminal cases take to resolve?
LA Superior Courts (LASC) are relatively quick to process cases compared to statewide averages. LASC processes felony cases within 30 days 49% of the time vs the statewide average of 43%. Similarly LASC processes misdemeanor cases within 30 days 66% of the time vs 57% statewide.
Misdemeanor case processing times in Los Angeles Superior Courts:
Less than 30 days: 66%
30-45 days: 15%
45-90 days: 5%
90+ days: 14%
Felony case processing times in Los Angeles Superior Courts:
Less than 30 days: 49%
30-45 days: 10%
45-90 days: 16%
90+ days: 25%
Source: Judicial Council of California (15)
Criminal Immigration Attorney Los Angeles
A DUI or criminal conviction can have serious consequences for your immigration status if you are a non-US citizen. Under US immigration law, criminal convictions can lead to a non-citizen being deported regardless of how long they have lived in the US or how well-established their life is here.
If you are a non-US citizen facing DUI or criminal charges, it is critical that you be represented by a criminal immigration attorney who understands both immigration and criminal law.
You should seek out a qualified immigration attorney. Chudnovsky Law is recognized as a leader in the intersection of immigration and criminal law and minimizing the immigration consequences of crimes. Call for a Free Consultation with one of our attorneys.
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Serving all LA County cities including:
Alhambra, Beverly Hills DUI attorney, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Encino, Glendale, Hollywood, Huntington Park, La Habra criminal defense lawyer, Long Beach, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita criminal defense attorneys, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys criminal attorney, Venice, West Covina DUI defense lawyers, West Hollywood, and Woodland Hills.
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Last updated: November 10, 2019