The key to protecting your future and your driving record is to hire an experienced Orange County DUI Lawyer to represent you from the start.
Our Experienced Orange County DUI Lawyers Fight For You
At Chudnovsky Law, our award-winning lawyers have decades of combined experience defending clients facing investigations, DUI charges, DMV hearings, license board investigations, and other criminal charges.
There are many legal defenses to DUI that can get your case dismissed or charges reduced. Chudnovsky Law attorneys will carefully analyze the evidence, police procedure, and details of your case to determine the best defense strategy for you.
We know how stressful DUI charges are and what is at stake. Our Orange County DUI attorney will be by your side vigorously defending you at every step in the process.
10 days to stop DMV license suspension
It’s important to act quickly as the DMV only gives us 10 days to request a DMV admin per se hearing, or your drivers license will be automatically suspended.
Reach out today for a Free Consultation with our legal team to discuss your DUI case and how we can help you present the strongest possible defense against your DUI charges.
We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.
Former Orange County prosecutor defending DUI charges
The criminal court system is complicated, and the consequences of making a mistake can follow you for life.
Our proven trial lawyers are:
- Experienced defense attorneys who have handled a combined 8,500+ criminal, DUI, and license defense cases. We know O.C. courts inside out and how to secure the best outcome for you in your DUI case.
- Committed to resolving tough cases as favorably as possible. We have achieved excellent case results in even the toughest DUI cases, including getting many charges dropped or helping our clients avoid any jail time.
- Former prosecutors with respect from Orange County criminal judges and district attorneys
- Top-rated lawyers with excellent ratings and client reviews
Whether you face misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, we can immediately help. We can also work to get DUI charges dropped before the prosecutor even files them in some cases. This requires that you reach out right away following an arrest so we have the quickest chance of fighting your charges.
Our experience as a former prosecutor gives us insight into how the DAs work in Orange County, and we know what defense strategies are most successful in challenging the prosecution’s case. If you face DUI charges, you want a highly experienced and aggressive defense lawyer standing up for your rights – you want to hire Chudnovsky Law.
Proven experience you can trust
Often, it is not the facts of the case that result in a great outcome, but relationships, an understanding of the criminal justice system, and a skillful presentation of your side of the story to the O.C. District Attorney, licensing board, or judge.
If you need a top-rated Orange County DUI attorney, call us now for your free consultation and learn about our affordable fees and flexible payment plans.
Seek help from a top-rated DUI defense attorney
Our approach is to provide smart and compassionate representation and treat every client with dignity and respect. We know that a DUI arrest is a difficult experience for anyone, and we want to help you rise above in this stressful time. We focus on your future and obtaining the best possible result in your case.
Securing the best client outcomes in case after case has distinguished Chudnovsky Law as one of California’s top-rated criminal defense law firms.
We have many satisfied clients, professional recognitions, and peer reviews, including:
- Five-star rating by Martindale Hubbell
- 10.0 Superb rating by Avvo
- 10.0 lawyer rating by Justia
- Five-star rating by Lawyers
- Five-star rating by Findlaw
- Five-star rating on Google
To speak with a member of our team to review your case and see if we are the right DUI defense law firm in Orange County for you, call us for your free consultation.
Fighting DUI charges in Orange County, CA
The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe, but you are innocent until a DA proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. DUI cases are rarely hopeless matters, and experienced lawyers know the best strategies to use to get charges and penalties dropped or reduced.
Our Orange County DUI attorneys have extensive experience handling misdemeanor and felony DUI defense, which we developed from successfully defending thousands of DUI drunk driving cases.
We defend a wide range of DUI-related charges, including:
- First misdemeanor DUI
- Second, third, or fourth DUIs
- Felony DUI with great bodily injury
- Marijuana DUI
- Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
- Non-U.S. citizen DUI with immigration issues
- Hit and run DUI accidents
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Watson murder charges
- DUI with a commercial license
- Driving without a license
- DMV administrative per se hearing (APS)
We represent clients in Orange County and the surrounding areas. Never hesitate to contact our office directly to ask any questions you have and learn more about our firm.
DUI injury lawyers in Orange County, CA
In California, penalties increase dramatically when DUI causes an accident with injury. It is crucial to hire an Orange County DUI injury attorney experienced in defending these serious charges. The prosecutor will have additional elements to prove, and we can get to work on challenging their case.
Orange County prosecutors usually file DUI injury charges as felony offenses with serious penalties, even if the injuries are minor. We know how to approach these serious matters and minimize the consequences our clients face.
DUI defense lawyers speaking Spanish, French and Italian
The firm’s multilingual DUI defense lawyers are native Spanish, French, and Italian-speaking lawyers. We use these skills to represent the diverse community throughout Orange County and help non-English speaking DUI defendants when they do not know where to turn.
Chudnovsky Law has extensive experience representing foreign nationals for DUI charges, and we are skilled in the complex intersection of immigration and criminal defense laws.
You can read more about our multilingual DUI defense services at:
Orange County DUI and criminal immigration lawyer
A DUI conviction can have serious consequences for your immigration status if you are a non-U.S. citizen. Under U.S. immigration law, criminal convictions can lead to deportation for non-citizens – regardless of how long they have lived in the U.S. or how well-established their life is here.
Chudnovsky Law employs preeminent Orange County criminal and immigration attorneys skilled at resolving complex immigrant criminal defense cases.
We represent all non-citizens facing DUI allegations, including:
- Permanent resident green-card holders
- DACA recipients
- All visa holders, such as international F1 visa students, H-1b visa, E-2 visa, EB-2 visa, L-1 visa and L-2 visa holders
If you are a foreign national facing DUI charges, hire a criminal immigration lawyer with experience in both criminal and immigration law.
Chudnovsky Law understands how criminal and immigration law interact, and always works to minimize the immigration consequences of DUI arrests and charges for non-citizens.
Call for your free consultation and get help now.
Medical and nursing license criminal defense
If you hold a medical or nursing license, you have a lot more at stake than other DUI defendants. Criminal charges for DUI can trigger licensing board investigations and disciplinary actions that risk your career.
Nursing, medical, chiropractic, dental, pharmacy, and all healthcare board license holders should hire a California professional license defense attorney who has significant experience navigating Board and California Department of Consumer Affairs license investigations.
We have experienced attorneys who know how to handle both criminal defense and license board investigations for:
- California medical license defense
- Board of Registered Nursing license defense
- California pharmacy license defense
- Dental Board of California investigation
- Board of Chiropractic Examiners investigation
We handle all professional license criminal charges and arrests, working to ensure our DUI clients can continue earning a living in the professions they worked so hard to establish.
Never let a DUI completely derail your career – call for a consultation to learn more.
Recent Orange County DUI defense results
Every case is unique, and the results of one case do not promise the same results in another.
That said, our DUI defense lawyers always work for the best outcome possible, and the following are some recent results we have obtained for our clients facing DUI charges:
- Second DUI with an accident, West Justice Center. The client faced a violation of probation and up to one year in jail. Result: Filed motion to suppress evidence and case dismissed.
- Sixth DUI involving an accident with great bodily injury. The client faced 16 years in state prison. Result: Only six months in jail.
- First DUI enhanced due to a high BAC, Harbor Justice Center. An international executive faced six months in jail and the loss of their job. Result: Reduced to a wet reckless, no jail time, and no immigration or job consequence.
- First DUI enhanced due to a high BAC and high speed, a foreign citizen faced six months in jail and deportation. Result: No jail time and no immigration consequence.
- First DUI enhanced due to very high BAC, Harbor Justice Center. Result: No jail time.
- First DUI by a non-U.S. citizen. The client faced six months in jail and deportation. Result: No jail time and no immigration consequence.
Orange County DUI defense information
Driving under the influence cases are rarely hopeless, so never assume that a conviction is inevitable. Law enforcement officers can bungle roadside investigations and arrests. Breath tests and other blood alcohol tests are subject to error. Breathalyzer and other blood alcohol tests can provide false readings due to medical conditions and some foods.
Our skilled Orange County DUI lawyers know how to identify and use these issues to challenge the prosecutor’s case or reduce the type of DUI charge.
DUI cases often have errors or flaws
Fighting DUI charges almost always makes more sense than pleading guilty for many reasons, including:
- Law enforcement officers must follow strict, standardized procedures, and they often fail to do so.
- Breathalyzers can give false readings due to device malfunctions, medical issues, or more than 100 substances that interfere with the chemical readings.
- Testing the alcohol level in blood is difficult and prone to error. When retesting police blood samples, it is not unusual to find different results or that the blood experienced contamination.
These are only some of the many defense strategies that help our legal team beat DUI charges for our clients. To learn what defenses we might bring in your case, allow us to evaluate your situation.
The elements of a prosecutor’s DUI case
Prosecutors have to establish guilt in their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof under California law.
This strict legal standard is necessary for any alleged criminal charges, and judges can dismiss any case that is not free of reasonable doubt.
The four elements that prosecutors use to prove their case are:
- Visual DUI detection – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research has identified 24 visual cues for police officers to detect impaired motorists, including speeding, weaving out of lanes, and ignoring traffic signs.
- Physical signs and symptoms – Officer observations, such as the smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, or difficulty walking, are often easiest to discredit.
- Field sobriety testing – Officers might allege a lack of balance, physical ability, or attention level.
- Chemical blood alcohol tests or the refusal to take a test – Our DUI defense lawyers can discredit chemical test results based on many factors.
A skilled Orange County drunk driving defense attorney will work to identify any weaknesses regarding the four elements above to demonstrate reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case. The best DUI defense lawyers will carefully analyze all evidence and determine the defense strategy or strategies with the highest probability of success.
Consequences and penalties for DUI
The penalties for DUI convictions vary widely due to several factors. California DUI statutes dictate the range of penalties judges can order for convicted offenders.
Judges have the discretion to impose a range of penalties depending on the seriousness of the offense, any prior DUI convictions, and other aspects of the case. Our Orange County DUI lawyer has many strategies available to influence the penalties imposed for a conviction.
A DUI conviction counts as a prior conviction on your record for ten years. After the conviction is over ten years old, the courts no longer consider it a prior conviction when determining the penalties for subsequent DUI charges. It is always best to avoid even one conviction whenever possible, and this is what our legal team works toward for DUI defendants.
Orange County DUI programs
If our lawyer cannot get your DUI dismissed, most standard court sentences will require that you attend a state-approved Orange County DUI Program. The court will order a program lasting somewhere between three and 30 months, depending on whether you have prior DUI convictions and your BAC level.
You can learn more about Orange County’s approved DUI program providers at:
What are some other consequences of DUIs?
Ask our O.C. DUI attorneys to further explain the following drunk driving consequences and penalties, and advise which issues your case may entail:
- Insurance costs can go up dramatically and subject you to SR-22 insurance requirements.
- Professional license holders such as nurses and doctors can have their licenses, insurance, and certifications affected.
- Applications for certain jobs often ask about DUI convictions, and if the employer does a background check and discovers you do not have a clean driving record, you might lose a current job or job opportunity.
- DUI convictions can impact university admissions, athletic opportunities and scholarships, and other financial aid.
- Foreign citizens have to disclose DUI arrests and answer DHS questions when applying to adjust their status, obtain visas, seek green cards, or even just enter the U.S.
- Installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles can be necessary for some convictions, which signals to everyone else that you had a DUI conviction.
We work to reduce or eliminate most DUI penalties.
Even though consequences can be severe, a successful DUI defense attorney can dramatically reduce or eliminate penalties if we successfully challenge your DUI charges. If your DUI involved an accident, consult a skilled Orange County drunk driving accident lawyer with experience handling restitution hearings.
You might also avoid a DMV license suspension if you hire our experienced DUI lawyers early in the process. We can request a DMV APS hearing to prevent the state from taking your license and negotiate the best outcome possible.
UCI DUI Lawyer | Chapman DUI Lawyer
Chudnovsky Law represents students in DUI cases from all universities in Orange County, including:
- UC Irvine
- Chapman University
- Anaheim University
- California State University Fullerton
- Golden West College
- Irvine Valley College
- National University.
Were you a student? Did the police arrest you for a DUI? Contact Chudnovsky Law’s UCI DUI lawyer.
The University of California Irvine (UCI) is also very popular with international students. UCI reported over 5,400 international students in a recent year, and DUI charges against those with international F1 student visas can cause a visa revocation and other immigration complications. F1 students facing DUI charges should consult the immigration and DUI defense attorneys of Chudnovsky Law. We can fight to keep you in your U.S. school.
If you face DUI charges in Orange County and want a chance at overcoming the potential consequences you face, do not wait to speak with our firm about your defense today.
Orange County DUI Defense FAQs
What happens after a DUI arrest?
Having a police officer put you in handcuffs is terrifying, but this is only the beginning of a stressful process. Once you arrive at the police station, you will go through the booking process, and officers might conduct a blood test to confirm your blood alcohol content.
Usually, officers will hold you in jail until they believe you have sobered up, then release you without having to post bond. In cases involving more severe charges, such as DUI causing injury or death, authorities might set bail. Either way, discuss your options with our DUI defense lawyers immediately.
Officers might release you with a court date, or you might receive a summons in the mail. Act quickly if you know you have a hearing approaching. Our DUI defense lawyers can represent you at your initial hearings, as well as request an administrative hearing regarding your driver’s license suspension.
Never plead guilty to any charges without the guidance of a defense lawyer. The prosecution or police might tell you that you do not need a lawyer and that pleading guilty is your best option. This is not the case, and you should reach out to our legal team before you speak to the prosecutor at all.
Once the criminal process is underway, we will execute the strongest possible defense strategy given your circumstances. This can involve getting evidence suppressed due to constitutional violations, challenging BAC test results, and other arguments to see if the DA or court will drop your charges.
If not, we can engage in plea negotiations to see if the prosecutor will reduce your charges or recommend a minimal sentence if you plead guilty. If we reach a favorable plea bargain, we will go over all of your options with you and explain all possible implications of a guilty plea. There might be immigration consequences for non-citizens, and this is an important matter to consider. We will be there to address your concerns every step of the way.
If you decide not to plead guilty, the court will set your case for either a bench trial or jury trial. We aggressively defend our clients in court, always fighting for acquittals at trial.
This is only a brief, simplified explanation of the criminal DUI process, and we can let you know what to expect in more detail when you meet with our firm.
Do I really need a lawyer for a first-time DUI charge?
If the police have arrested you for DUI, you may be wondering whether you should retain an attorney to represent you. The answer is an unequivocal yes. Drinking and driving is a serious criminal matter with significant legal and collateral consequences. In fact, you can even spend six months in jail for a first DUI offense in California and have to pay fines and other costs of around $2,000.
In many cases, a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County can take steps to mitigate the consequences you are facing. In fact, in some cases, an attorney may successfully ask the court or the prosecutor to drop or dismiss the case against you. As a result, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review the facts of your case.
Should I plead guilty to DUI charges?
Whether you should plead guilty to DUI charges is a complicated question that depends on many factors. Some of these factors include your opinion regarding your guilt, the terms of any plea deal that the prosecution offered, and the strength of the evidence against you. In most cases, choosing to plead guilty will result in significantly lesser penalties and more control over the outcome of your case. What you should never do is plead guilty to DUI without discussing your options with a lawyer.
Can you help me avoid jail time for a DUI?
Every DUI charge comes with a possible jail sentence, as even a first offense misdemeanor conviction can mean up to six months in jail. Part of our goal in every DUI case is to keep our clients out of jail, and we always fight for probation or alternative penalties if you receive a conviction.
What if a police officer stopped me, but I did nothing wrong?
If the police stopped you for no reason and then accused you of drunk driving, it may be possible for your lawyer to have all of the evidence the police gathered during your traffic stop suppressed.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution limits what the police can and cannot do. To lawfully pull someone over, the police must have reasonable suspicion that they are committing or have recently committed a crime. That said, the police have wide discretion to pull people over and can legitimately do so for even the most minor of offenses.
Some of the reasons that the police can pull you over include:
- Expired tags
- Failing to maintain your lane
- Broken or malfunctioning tail lights or turn signals
- Slow driving
- Rolling stop signs
The police cannot pull you over on a hunch that you drove drunk or otherwise violated the law. An attorney can review the police report associated with your arrest and determine whether we might successfully suppress the evidence gathered during the stop. If the court agrees to exclude the evidence, it typically means that the case against you will not proceed.
What is the legal limit for DUI offenses in California?
Every state in the U.S. has a 0.08 percent BAC threshold for most drivers. For commercial drivers, the BAC legal limit is half of the usual limit at 0.04 percent.
Underage drivers face different offenses depending on their BAC:
- Anything over 0.01 percent can result in a zero-tolerance DUI, which is an infraction and can mean a one-year license suspension and fines up to $250
- Anything over 0.05 percent is an underage DUI charge, which is also an infraction with possible fines up to $300 and a one-year license suspension.
- Anything over 0.08 percent will result in the same DUI charges and potential penalties as a driver over age 21
Can I get arrested if my BAC is below the legal limit?
Yes. Under California law, if you are driving with a BAC of greater than 0.08, you are guilty of per se drunk driving. In other words, it does not matter whether you were actually impaired, as the act of driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher violates the law.
The law also prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, the police can arrest you even if your BAC is less than the legal limit. All the police need is probable cause to believe that you are under the influence and evidence that supports their contention. In other words, if you are a person who is significantly affected by one or two drinks, you can certainly face an arrest and conviction of DUI, even if your BAC is under 0.08.
Speak with our Orange County DUI defense attorneys to learn more
We can give you general information about the DUI process and how we approach cases, but to learn whether we are the right defense team for your case, reach out for your free consultation.
Chudnovsky Law’s Orange County DUI lawyers can take calls, assess your circumstances, and answer your questions 24/7 at (949) 750-2500 or through our contact page. Call us now so we can investigate, deal with the police and prosecutor for you, and get your situation under control.
Begin your defense as early as possible
If you have just been arrested or someone you know is in custody for a crime, contact us as soon as possible. Even if you are just under investigation, you should start working to defend against prosecutors and police. There is no time to waste.
The most critical window for criminal defense work can be the first few days following an arrest, or even before formal charges are filed. By getting to work immediately, we can often locate favorable defense witnesses & evidence, and get a head start towards defeating the charges. Sometimes it’s even possible to stop criminal charges from even being filed by the DA.
“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.”
Serving all Orange County, CA cities including:
Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.
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Last updated 6.27.22
Don’t wait for prosecutors to make the 1st move
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