Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you are facing a DUI charge, it is important to hire an expert Orange County criminal defense lawyer or Orange County DUI lawyer to guide and defend you. Your reputation, freedom and future can be at risk.

We will be able to advise you about your legal options and explain your rights to you. Our award-winning lawyers have over 75 years experience defending clients facing police investigations, DUI, license board investigations, state and Federal criminal charges.

Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating

Former Orange County Prosecutor defending you

The criminal court system is complicated and the consequences for making a mistake can follow you for life. Our proven trial lawyers are:

  1. Experienced handling 8,500+ criminal, DUI, license defense cases. We know OC courts inside out and how to secure the best outcome for you.
  2. Expert at resolving tough cases. We have achieved excellent case results on even the toughest felony criminal and DUI cases.
  3. Former Prosecutors known and respected by courts and DAs.
  4. Top-rated lawyers with exceptional ratings and client reviews.

If you’re being charged with any felony or misdemeanor crime, DUI or Federal crime we can immediately help. We can also work to get charges dropped before they’re filed.

Proven experience you can trust

Often it is not the facts of the case that result in a great outcome, but relationships, understanding the legal system, and a skillful presentation of your side of the story to the OC District Attorney, licensing board or judge.

If you’re looking for a top Orange County DUI attorney or Orange County criminal lawyer, call (949) 750-2500 for a free consultation. We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.


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Orange County defense resources

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer DUI Attorney

Award-winning Orange County lawyers

Chudnovsky Law is a team of compassionate, highly skilled attorneys with extensive experience guiding clients through some of life’s most difficult challenges.

Our lawyers are rated Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers and ranked best Orange County criminal defense and DUI lawyers according to

With experience in all Orange County Superior Courts and Federal court, our lawyers are qualified to handle any Federal or California criminal or DUI case:

Tsion Chudnovsky

Tsion Chudnovsky is the Managing Attorney and founder of Chudnovsky Law. She has 16+ years of experience representing clients in criminal defense, DUI defense and criminal immigration cases. Tsion is a nationally recognized legal authority in criminal defense and DUI defense for both U.S. citizens and noncitizen immigrants.

Tsion has been featured in national media including American Bar Association, US News, The Washington Post, Attorney Journal and many others. Tsion is fluent in Spanish, French and Italian. Read full bio →

Robert K. Weinberg

Robert K. Weinberg is a former Orange County prosecutor with 30+ years of experience representing clients in criminal defense, DUI defense and professional license defense cases in both state and Federal jurisdictions. He has unparalleled experience handling over 5,000 cases and jury trials. Robert is a legal authority in criminal, DUI and professional licensing law.

Robert has been featured in CBS News, The Washington Post, NBC News, American Dental Association, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio and many others. Robert is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and Portuguese. Read full bio →

David A. Stein

David A. Stein is a passionate advocate for clients with a broad range of experience in criminal defense and DUI defense matters. Mr. Stein has a sterling reputation as a compassionate, highly skilled attorney that fiercely protects his client’s rights throughout the criminal justice system. Read full bio →

Top-rated criminal and DUI defense

Our approach is to provide smart and compassionate representation and treat every client with dignity and respect. Our focus on securing the best client outcomes has made Chudnovsky Law one of the top-rated criminal defense law firms in California:

To speak with a lawyer to review your case and see if we are the best criminal defense attorney in Orange County for you, call (949) 750-2500 for a free consultation. 

Criminal defense and DUI cases we handle

Chudnovsky Law represents clients for all felony and misdemeanor criminal defense or DUI cases in Orange County Superior Court, Orange County DUI court, Federal Court and other California courts.

We represent clients during all phases of criminal defense including: bail hearings, bench warrants, law enforcement investigations, District Attorney negotiations, temporary restraining order (TRO), protective court order, blood split motions, jury and court trials, parole and probation violations, expungement of criminal records, appeal and post-conviction relief.

Criminal defense lawyer in Orange County, CA

Our Orange County felony defense attorney defends clients facing any criminal charge:

  • Domestic violence: corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant, domestic battery, elder abuse, criminal threats, stalking and child endangerment.
  • Drug crimes: drug manufacturing, prescription fraud, opioid prescription abuse, pot dispensary violations, trafficking and methamphetamine charges.
  • Drug possession: possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, possession with intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Federal crimes: DEA investigation, FBI investigation, conspiracy, bank fraud, corporate fraud, drug trafficking, insider trading, money laundering, Medicare fraud and tax fraud.
  • Juvenile crimes.
  • Sex crimes: false sex crime charges, internet sex crime, indecent exposure, lewd conduct in public, prostitution defense, rape, sexual assault, Title IX, solicitation, child pornography, human trafficking, sexual battery and statutory rape.
  • Theft and property crimes: grand theft auto, burglary, robbery, grand theft, receiving stolen property, carjacking, petty theft, armed robbery and shoplifting.
  • Violent crimes: assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run, assault, murder, criminal threats, arson, kidnapping, manslaughter and false imprisonment.
  • Warrants: recall bench warrants, failure to appear warrants, FTA warrants and arrest warrants.
  • White collar crimes: conspiracy, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, identity theft, extortion, forgery, bribery, commercial burglary, mail fraud, embezzlement, false financial statement, computer access and fraud, and other financial crimes.

When searching for the best criminal defense attorney near me, note that we represent clients throughout Orange County and California.

DUI attorney in Orange County, CA

The penalties for DUI conviction can be severe, but you are innocent until a DA proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. DUI cases are rarely hopeless and experienced lawyers know the best strategies to use to get charges and penalties dropped/reduced.

Our Orange County DUI attorney has expertise in misdemeanor and felony DUI defense developed from successfully defending 1,000’s of DUI drunk driving cases, including:

  • First misdemeanor DUI
  • 2nd, 3rd or 4th DUI
  • Felony DUI with great bodily injury
  • Marijuana DUI
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
  • Non-US citizen DUI with immigration issues
  • Hit and run
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Watson murder charges
  • DUI with commercial license
  • Driving without a license
  • DMV admin per se hearing (APS)

When looking for the best DUI attorney near me, note that we represent clients throughout Orange County and California.

DUI injury lawyer 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.

Orange County prosecutors usually file DUI injury charges as felony DUI with very serious penalties, even if the injuries are minor.

DUI defense in Spanish, French and Italian

The firm’s multi-lingual DUI defense lawyers are native Spanish, French and Italian speaking lawyers. Chudnovsky Law has extensive experience representing foreign nationals for DUI charges. We are skilled in the complex intersection of immigration and criminal defense laws.

You can read more about our multi-lingual DUI defense services at:

Criminal defense in Spanish, French and Italian

Chudnovsky Law’s criminal defense lawyers are native Spanish, French and Italian speaking attorneys. The law firm has extensive experience representing foreign citizens for both criminal defense and immigration matters.

You can read more about our multi-lingual criminal defense at:

Call 844 325-1444 for a Free Consultation

Get Your Charges Dropped or Reduced and Protect Your Future! If you are looking to hire a criminal defense & DUI lawyer, we invite you to call for a free confidential consultation 7 days a week.

Get Help Now

Orange County criminal immigration lawyer

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 deportation for noncitizens regardless how long they have lived in the US or how well-established their life is here.

Tsion Chudnovsky is a preeminent Orange County criminal and immigration attorney skilled at resolving complex immigrant criminal defense cases.

Tsion represents all noncitizens including permanent resident green card holders, DACA recipients and all visa holders such as international F1 visa students, H-1b visa, E-2 visa, EB-2 visa, L-1 visa and L-2 visas charged with DUI, federal or state crimes.

If you are a foreign national facing criminal charges, it is critical that you hire a criminal immigration lawyer expert in both criminal and immigration law.

Chudnovsky Law is recognized as a leader in the intersection of criminal and immigration law and minimizing the immigration consequences of DUI, criminal arrests and charges.

Call (949) 750-2500 for a Free consultation to get help now.

Medical and nursing license criminal defense

If you are a licensed professional facing a criminal charge, be very careful. Criminal charges, DUI, allegations and criminal investigations 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 is an expert at navigating Board and California Department of Consumer Affairs license investigations.

Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg, Melissa DuChene, and Suzanne Crouts are experienced criminal defense lawyers and California professional license defense attorneys skilled at handling both criminal defense and license board investigations for all health care licensees, including:

Robert Weinberg attorney Irvine, Ms. DuChene and Ms. Crouts handle all professional license criminal charge or arrest matters including: Orange County nurse DUI, nurse criminal defense, DUI medical license, medical license defense, doctor criminal defense, pharmacist DUI, DEA physician registrant investigation, nursing license defense, chiropractic license defense, chiropractor criminal defense, pharmacist criminal defense, medical license criminal defense, dentist DUI and medical practice act offenses.

Call (949) 750-2500 for a consultation to learn more.

Recent Orange County criminal defense results

Chudnovsky Law handles criminal cases in all Orange County Superior Courts, Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Federal Courts and OC jails.

The following are some examples of victories our attorneys have achieved:

  • Felony transportation and possession for sale of 50 kilograms cocaine HS 11351 and HS 11352, Santa Ana Court. Client faced 20 years if convicted. Result: Not guilty verdict in jury trial.
  • Felony corporal injury on spouse by non-US citizen 273.5 PC, Harbor Justice Court. Client faced 1 year jail and denial of green card for domestic violence. Result: Not guilty in jury trial.
  • Felony terrorist threats with mass explosive devices 18710 PC and 422 PC, Central Justice Center. Client facing 4 years prison. Result: Acquitted of 18710 PC in trial, 422 PC reduced to misdemeanor with no jail time.
  • Felony grand theft 487 PC and 459.5 PC, West Justice Court. Client had prior record and faced 4 years prison. Result: Reduced to misdemeanor with no jail time.
  • Felony assault with deadly weapon 245(a)(2) PC, North Justice Center. Client facing 5 years prison. Result: Reduced to misdemeanor 273.5 PC, no jail time.
  • Felony domestic violence on spouse by foreign citizen 273.5 PC. International executive faced 2 years jail and aggravated felony conviction with deportation and inadmissibility to U.S. Result: Case dismissed, no immigration consequence.
  • Large scale theft of US Mail by non-US citizen on work visa 530.5(e) PC, West Justice Center. Client faced 1 year jail and deportation. Result: Reduced to trespassing 602 PC, no jail time, no immigration consequence.

Recent Orange County DUI defense results

  • 2nd DUI with accident, West Justice Center. Client faced violation of probation and up to 1 year jail. Result: Filed motion to suppress evidence, case dismissed.
  • Felony 6th DUI involving accident with great bodily injury. Client facing up to 16 years prison. Result: 6 months jail.
  • 1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC, Harbor Justice Center. International executive faced 6 mo jail, loss of job. Result: Reduced to wet reckless, no jail, no immigration or job consequence.
  • 1st DUI enhanced due to high BAC and high speed, foreign citizen faced 6 mo jail, deportation. Result: No jail, no immigration consequence.
  • 1st DUI enhanced due to very high BAC, Harbor Justice Center. Result: No jail.
  • 1st DUI by non-US citizen. Client faced 6 months jail and deportation. Result: No jail time, no immigration consequence.

“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.”


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Orange County criminal process

If you are arrested for a DUI or other crime in Orange County, you will go through several steps. Our Newport Beach criminal defense lawyers are available to guide and protect you at every stage:

1) Arrest and jail booking

  • After arrest, you will usually be taken to one of these city police jails for booking and fingerprinting. Call the jail for inmate info. City police jails are used to temporarily hold arrestees until released or transferred to an Orange County Jail.
  • You can find inmates held in Orange County jail custody by using the Orange County Sheriff’s Department online inmate search tool.
  • You may be released if the prosecutor doesn’t file charges, you post bail or you’re released on your own recognizance. Otherwise, you will remain in jail until law enforcement transports you to court for the arraignment. DAs usually have 48 hours to file charges.
  • Bail for Orange County inmates are set by courts based on this bail schedule.

2) Courthouse arraignment

Most Orange County DUI and criminal cases are prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. However, some infractions, municipal code violations and select misdemeanor matters may be prosecuted by various city attorney’s office such as the Anaheim City Attorney and the Santa Ana City Attorney.

At your first court appearance (“arraignment”), the judge for your case will inform you of your charges and constitutional rights. At the arraignment, you will be asked to enter your plea: not guilty, guilty, or no contest.

Your Orange County misdemeanor lawyer can appear in your place for most misdemeanor charges. Some charges such as felonies and domestic violence charges require your appearance at arraignment.

The presiding judge designates which court your case will be heard and tried in according to this court matrix. We defend clients in all 6 criminal courthouses in Orange County:

  • Central Justice Center: Santa Ana Courthouse at 700 W Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana, CA 92701. Call (657) 622-8459 for more information.
  • Courtroom in Central Justice Complex (CJ1): This secure courtroom is located inside the Central Jail at 550 N Flower St, Santa Ana, CA 92703. For more information, call (657) 622-8459.
  • Harbor Justice Center: Newport Beach Courthouse at 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Call (657) 622-5400 for court information.
  • Lamoreaux Justice Center: Orange Juvenile Court at 341 The City Drive South, Orange, CA 92868. Call (657) 622-6878 for juvenile court information.
  • North Justice Center: Fullerton Courthouse at 1275 North Berkeley Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832. Call (657) 622-5600 for court information.
  • West Justice Center: Westminster Courthouse at 8141 13th Street, Westminster, CA 92683. Call (657) 622-5900 for court information.

3) After arraignment

  • The steps after arraignment in your case will vary for misdemeanor and felony charges as explained in this guide.
  • During pre-trials, you can change your plea, your attorney can file pre-trial motions and your attorney may negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Both sides exchange “discovery” information.

4) Court or jury trial

  • If the Prosecutor will not dismiss the charges and the two sides cannot agree on a plea agreement or other resolution, the case must be decided via trial.
  • In most instances, the defendant will be allowed to specify whether their trial will be decided by a judge or by a jury of their peers.

5) Expungement of criminal records

  • In many instances it is possible to “set aside a criminal conviction” through a court-ordered process called “expungement” after a certain amount of time has passed.
  • Expungement erases an arrest or conviction from a person’s criminal record such that it does not need to be disclosed when asked on job and other applications.

The criminal justice system is notoriously complex. Chudnovsky Law has skillfully guided and defended thousands of clients throughout every stage of the process.

Call (949) 750-2500 for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

Orange County DUI defense information

Driving under the influence cases are rarely hopeless. Law enforcement officers can bungle roadside investigations and arrests. Breath test and other blood alcohol tests are subject to error. Breathalyzer and other blood alcohol tests can provide false readings due to factors like medical conditions and some foods.

Our skilled Newport Beach DUI lawyer knows 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:

  1. Law enforcement officers are required to follow strict, standardized procedures, and often they fail to do so.
  2. Breathalyzers can give false readings due to device malfunctions, medical issues or more than 100 substances that interfere with the chemical readings.
  3. 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 was contaminated.

The 4 elements of a prosecutor’s DUI case

Prosecutors are required 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 required for any alleged criminal charges and judges can dismiss any case that is not free of doubt. The 4 elements that prosecutors use to prove their case are:

  1. Visual DUI detection: 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.
  2. Physical signs and symptoms: Officer observations such as smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes or difficulty walking are often easiest to discredit.
  3. Field sobriety testing such as balance, physical ability or attention level.
  4. Chemical blood alcohol tests or refusal to take a test: Blood tests can be discredited based on many factors.

A skilled Orange County drunk driving defense attorney will work to identify any weaknesses in the four elements above to demonstrate a reasonable doubt in the prosecutor’s case. The best DUI defense lawyers will carefully analyze the evidence and determine the defense strategy with the highest probability of success.

Consequences and penalties for DUI

The penalties for DUI convictions vary widely based on several factors. The range of penalties judges can dictate are defined by statue under California DUI laws.

Judges have discretion to impose a range of penalties depending on the seriousness of the crime committed and the quantity of prior DUI convictions. A Costa Mesa DUI lawyer has many strategies available to influence the penalties finally imposed.

A DUI conviction counts as a prior conviction on your record for 10 years. After the conviction is over 10 years old, the courts no longer consider it as a prior conviction when determining the penalties for subsequent DUI charges.

READ MORE: The Complete Guide to DUI Penalties

Orange County DUI programs

If our lawyer is unable to get your DUI dismissed, most standard court sentences will require that you attend a state approved Orange County DUI Program. The court will sentence somewhere between 3 and 30 months, depending on whether you have prior DUI convictions and what your BAC level was.

Orange County’s approved DUI providers can be found at:

Call 844 325-1444 for a Free Consultation

Get Your Charges Dropped or Reduced and Protect Your Future! If you are looking to hire a criminal defense & DUI lawyer, we invite you to call for a free confidential consultation 7 days a week.

Get Help Now

What are some other consequences of DUIs?

Ask your OC DUI attorneys to explain the following drunk driving consequences and penalties:

  • 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 jobs often ask about convictions and if the employer does a background check, the conviction will be visible unless it has been expunged.
  • University admissions and financial aid can be affected.
  • Foreign citizens have to disclose DUI arrests and answer DHS questions when applying to adjust status, obtain visas, green cards, or even just enter the US.
  • Installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles can be required for some convictions.

Most penalties can be reduced or eliminated

Even though consequences can be severe, a successful DUI defense can dramatically reduce or eliminate penalties if the DUI charges are successfully challenged. If your DUI involved an accident, be sure to consult the best Orange County drunk driving accident lawyer skilled in restitution hearings.

A DMV license suspension can also be avoided if you hire good DUI lawyers early in the process. DUI attorneys can request a DMV APS hearing to save your license and utilize a range of negotiation and defense strategies to achieve the best outcome possible.

UCI DUI Lawyer | Chapman DUI Lawyer

Chudnovsky Law represents students for DUI and criminal defense at all universities in Orange County including: UC Irvine, Chapman University, Anahiem University, California State University Fullerton, Golden West College, Irvine Valley College and National University. UCI students that are arrested for DUI should contact Chudnovsky Law’s UCI DUI lawyer.

The University of California Irvine (UCI) is very popular with international students. UCI reported over 5,400 international students in 2016. International F1 student visa DUI can cause visas to be revoked and other complications.

F1 students charged with DUI should consult with the immigration and DUI defense attorneys of Chudnovsky Law in order to minimize the effects on their ability to continue to study in the US.

Los Angeles




1933 S Broadway #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 212-5002


Orange County




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


Long Beach




309 Pine Ave, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 800-4080


Santa Monica




1541 Ocean Ave, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 340-7220


Our lawyers serve all OC cities including:

Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach DUI lawyer, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Monarch Beach, 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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Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating