What Are the Most Common Criminal Defense Cases in Orange County, CA?

What Are the Most Common Criminal Defense Cases in Orange County, CA?
Christopher J. McCann

When it comes to crime in Orange County, California, there are a host of charges filed each year that can range from petty crimes to violent felonies. Over the course of a year, the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, defend a variety of different criminal cases and can lend our defense expertise to your case.

Drug Offenses

California is known for having more lenient drug laws when compared to other states across the country. Even so, drug-related offenses are some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes each year. Drug offenses made up a quarter of all misdemeanor offenses across the state, with an additional 11% accounting for felony charges.

There are a wide variety of drug-related charges that are possible, ranging from simple possession to manufacturing with the intent to sell. Even simple possession, the lowest level of offense, can carry serious consequences, including fines and jail time. Felony charges include possession with intent to sell, illegal drug manufacturing, and drug trafficking.

Assault Offenses

Whether it’s a tussle at a bar or a more violent attack on another person, assault offenses are even more common in Orange County. Simple assault, which is considered a misdemeanor, accounts for about 10% of misdemeanor offenses. Aggravated assault, however, accounts for 37% of all felony offenses and an even more dominant 75% when narrowed down to felony violent crimes.

Remember that if you are charged with a violent crime like assault, use your Fifth Amendment rights and do not talk to police until you have spoken with a lawyer. While assault is a serious offense, you can always plead self-defense or defense of another. Our team knows how to best defend you while dealing with assault charges.


DUI arrests make up nearly 17% of all arrests in Orange County and the state of California. However, this total includes not just DUIs in cars but also those in motorcycles, electric bikes, and boats.

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, know that multiple offenses lead to harsher penalties. It’s also important to know your rights regarding preliminary alcohol screenings such as breathalyzer tests. The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, can assist with your DUI case and protect your rights.

Property Crimes

Property crimes involve the theft or damage of someone else’s property. They include petty theft, burglary, grand theft, robbery, and grand theft auto.

Property crimes account for 19% of all felony offenses in Orange County. Offenses like theft and burglary are slightly more common and involve stealing or breaking and entering with the intent to steal. These less serious offenses do not involve the use of force, threats, or

Weapons Charges

Unlike its more lenient drug laws, California’s gun laws can be much harsher. Weapons offenses can range from something simple, like misdemeanor illegal possession, to felony-level charges for using an unlicensed or illegally possessed weapon. Felony arrests for weapon charges are around 7.1% in Orange County.

Sex Crimes

Charges like rape comprise about 3% of Orange County felony offenses. Sex crimes can include a variety of misdemeanor offenses such as harassment and prostitution, which also contribute to annual statistics. For the most heinous sex crimes, such as child molestation, convicts will also be added to sex offender registries, in addition to facing fines, prison time, and possible civil action.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence occurs when someone threatens or assaults someone they live with, such as a family member or domestic partner. Typical domestic violence arrests happen when police are called to the scene and are some of the most frequent crimes handled by defense attorneys in Orange County. This is due to state law, which requires charges to be brought against a suspect even if the victim does not want to press charges. However, with the assistance of a strong defense lawyer, a case can result in potential alternative defenses and lesser charges, such as mandatory counseling or anger management classes.


Q: How Much Will an Orange County Attorney Cost?

A: Most attorneys work on an hourly basis. Depending on the case, they may charge anywhere between $100 and $500 per hour. You should always discuss an attorney’s fees with them during your initial consultation. It is vital that you maintain consistent representation to achieve the best possible result for your case.

Q: How Should I Plead in My Case?

A: Your attorney will work with you to find the best defense strategy for your case. This can vary based on the information surrounding the case. Whether you are actually guilty is the biggest factor to consider when entering your plea. Even if you are guilty, your attorney may still be able to work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor to reduce your charges.

Q: Is There One Defense That Works Best in Most Cases?

A: All crimes are different, and the evidence in each case can vary drastically. Therefore, there is no surefire single defense that works in most cases. No two cases are exactly alike, so your best defense will be determined by our team’s expertise. They can examine all the evidence and details of your case to tailor a defense that best meets your needs.

Q: If I Know I’m Guilty, Should I Still Hire an Attorney?

A: Even if you know you are guilty, you should always hire an attorney. Defense attorneys will be able to help you navigate your charges and may even discover defenses that you were unaware were available to you. They may also be able to get your charges or sentence reduced by negotiating with the prosecutor.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, Today

At the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, we have years of experience in California criminal defense, and our firm has successfully represented many clients from the Orange County area. We know the challenges you are likely to face in your upcoming criminal court proceedings and the many questions you have about what to expect in your case. Contact our team today schedule a consultation with us and get the answers and support you need in this challenging situation.

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