Work with a Former Public Defender

Attorney Sabrina Darwish is uniquely qualified to help defend your future. Find out more!

Currently Facing Criminal Charges?

Attorney Sabrina Darwish is uniquely qualified to help defend your future. Find out more!

Representing Those Accused of DUI

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is highly encouraged that you contact our aggressive firm.

Santa Ana Criminal Defense Lawyer

We Are Dedicated to Your Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your rights. Ms. Darwish has been licensed to practice law since 2006 and has been exclusively practicing criminal defense for the past 12 years.

At Darwish Law, we are dedicated to helping every client get the best possible result.  Ms. Darwish understands how stressful it can be to have a criminal case against you.  She puts her all into getting you the fairest outcome—sometimes that is reducing a charge and other times it is a complete dismissal of charges.

Our firm is committed to providing more personalized representation than bigger law firms, which means we take the time to get to know each client and their case in depth.  We give you our full attention and make ourselves accessible for any questions or concerns that you may have.

Attorney Sabrina Darwish is a former public defender, giving her unique insight to the criminal defense process. No matter what type of criminal charge you are facing, you cannot afford to jeopardize your future by hiring an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer. Ensure your rights are protected by hiring our firm today!

What Makes Sabrina Darwish The Perfect Criminal Defense Attorney to Represent You on Your Case?

Being accused of a crime or getting charged with a criminal violation is not an easy thing. It can be an intimidating and stressful experience. You definitely want the right attorney by your side to navigate you through this daunting legal process. Sabrina Darwish is just the attorney for you and here’s why:

1. Honest and sincere

One of Sabrina’s strongest qualities is her genuineness. And this can be seen from the moment you meet her. In fact, Sabrina’s honest and sincere demeanor even comes across that first phone call with her. She is upfront and straightforward in regards to the possible outcomes of your case right from the start. Being a well-educated and highly experienced criminal defense attorney, she gives you her candid take on your case and doesn’t make any false promises. She works to build an honest and sincere relationship with her clients.

Sabrina’s sincerity also comes in hand in the courtroom. She is not only respected and admired by her clients, but also by judges and prosecutors. She continuously displays integrity and utmost professionalism. These qualities help Sabrina obtain favorable results in many of her cases.

2. Dedicated to protecting your future

A criminal conviction does not only have serious present consequences but also long-term concerns. A misdemeanor or felony conviction can greatly affect your chances at future employment or education. It can deter you from getting accepted to the school of your choice or landing your dream job.

Sabrina is committed to resolving every case in the most favorable manner so her client can have a brighter future. She is dedicated to making sure you don’t have trouble finding work, renting a home or getting into school.

3. Compassionate

It is imperative that an attorney understand the specific circumstances of a case in order to tailor the best defense. And understanding begins with compassion. Sabrina possesses a lot of care and concern for all her clients. From the moment you walk into her office, Sabrina listens to your worries and makes you feel at ease. Her genuine nature is what clients admire most about her. She is empathetic towards all your legal issues and takes them on as her own. She understands how such matters can impact you and those around you.

4. Good listener

Compassion and understanding for others begins with good listening. Sabrina listens attentively to each and every client for important details to help come up with the best defense. She doesn’t accept the facts as laid out in the police report, but conducts her own independent investigation to examine the case from all directions. Sabrina gives you her continued undivided attention to establish an attorney-client relationship based on honesty and trust.

5. Great negotiator as well as great trial attorney

Great negotiators collaborate when possible but employ force when necessary. Sabrina’s years of experience in the courtroom make her a great negotiator as well as a great trial attorney. She has filed numerous motions with the court and made countless phone calls to prosecutors to get charges reduced and cases dismissed. Sabrina points out the holes in the prosecutor’s case and highlights the most favorable facts of your case to get the best plea bargain achievable. However, even if the facts or law are not on your side, Sabrina presents you in the best possible light and appeals to the compassionate side of the prosecutor or judge and their interests in your rehabilitation.

And, if a favorable settlement cannot be reached, she vigorously prepares the case for trial. She does not hesitate to take a case to trial after exhausting all attempts at working out a settlement. Her goal is to get you the most just outcome, by whatever means necessary.

Sabrina begins her trial preparation by conducting a thorough investigation of your case and then analyzing all the facts by carefully pulling them apart. From there she prepares any and all motions that may pertain to the issues of your case. Her outstanding legal writing skills have persuaded many judges in the past. But strong writing skills aren’t the only attribute that creates a strong trial attorney. A great trial attorney will also have exceptional interpersonal or “people skills.” Sabrina is accomplished at communicating in large audiences, which make her a likable presence in the courtroom. For you, this can mean the difference between convincing a jury of your innocence and losing at trial.

6. Thoroughly prepares your defense

The key to being successful in a courtroom is preparation. Preparation begins by seeking out information and then determining what is relevant and important to the case. Only when an attorney can understand the case better than the opposing side do they have control of the courtroom. Sabrina diligently prepares each case. This in turn helps her connect with the judge and jury to persuasively demonstrate her knowledge with confidence.

7. Takes full control

Even if formal charges have not been filed against you, but there was police contact, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to advise you of your rights. Sabrina can help in such pre-filing matters by talking to the police and prosecutor on your behalf to keep any criminal charges from being filed.

During the pre-filing stage, an investigation is typically being done to determine whether formal charges should be filed. The sooner Sabrina takes control, the sooner she can protect your rights and start negotiating for an ideal outcome.

Sabrina begins working for you as soon as she’s retained. She starts conducting her own investigation independent of the police one. Based on what she finds, she will assert the best defense to the prosecutor. Before any charges have been filed, Sabrina has a much greater chance at keeping a criminal case from being filed or discussing with the prosecutor to reduce potential charges. If you wait for formal charges to be filed, you may be arrested and then not given such an opportunity at negotiation.

8. Personally handles the case

At many big firms, your case is never seen by the main attorneys. Rather, a newer inexperienced attorney takes on the case and appears in court on your behalf. Sabrina makes sure she handles your case from beginning to end and never hands it off. She handles each and every detail of the case herself. She makes every court appearance and writes every motion, all while keeping you informed.

9. Accessible

It can be a scary thing to be charged with a crime. For some, it can be the first time going through something like this. An attorney who can help you navigate the criminal justice system can be the answer to your problems.

Sabrina not only takes control of your case and personally handles it, she also keeps you in the loop at all times. She constantly communicates with her clients about any development in the case, big or small. Only if you are well-informed about what’s going on in your case can you feel at ease. And Sabrina understands that. That’s why she makes herself readily available.

10. High quality and affordable representation

Sabrina provides dedicated representation to those accused of a crime. Fighting for people’s rights is her passion. Her years of experience, first as a Deputy Public Defender then as a private defense attorney, make her the assertive advocate that you need.

Sabrina works hard to serve her clients who have unfortunately been charged with a crime and does everything in her power to get them their ideal result. But high-quality representation doesn’t mean high fees. Sabrina makes sure her clients get the best representation at an affordable cost. She works with you to make sure she can help with your case.

Her office is conveniently located in the heart of Santa Ana making her central to all Orange County courthouses.

Type of Violations In California

There are three types of violations in California: (1) Infractions, (2) Misdemeanors, and (3) Felonies. Some violations may also fall into an additional category called “wobblers.”


Infractions are the least serious type of violation. They are technically not even considered a crime. Therefore, certain rights such as right to a court-appointed lawyer and right to trial by jury are not afforded to those charged with an infraction. Typical infractions include common traffic offenses and violations of city ordinances. Infractions also do not carry jail time because most carry a fine as a penalty.


Misdemeanors are more serious violations than infractions. Typical misdemeanor offenses include driving under the influence, drug possession, shoplifting, and domestic violence. Misdemeanor offenses can result in up to one year of jail time. However, some have a maximum penalty of 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition to jail time, punishment for misdemeanor convictions can include community service, restitution for victim, drug treatment or anger management, and informal probation usually lasting 3 years.


A felony is the most serious type of criminal offense. Typical felonies include sale of a controlled substance, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, rape, and murder. A felony offense carries penalties of over a year in state prison in addition to formal probation after incarceration, substantial fines and a loss of certain rights such as the right to vote and the right to own firearms.


“Wobblers” are offenses which can either be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Usually, the Prosecutor decides on how to file a charge and then the judge decides how to sentence on it. On deciding how to charge a wobbler, a prosecutor looks at several factors including: severity of the crime, facts of your case, prior criminal record, etc. Common wobblers include assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, child endangerment, receiving stolen property, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Even if you are convicted of a wobbler felony, an attorney can file a petition to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor.

Specific Violations
Listed below are several of the more common violations one may be charged with under California law.


Simple assault is defined in Penal Code Section 240 as “an unlawful attempt” to commit a violent injury upon another. Physical contact with the victim is not required. The accused simply needs to put the victim in reasonable fear of bodily injury.

An example of assault is throwing a punch at someone and missing because the person ducked at just the right time.

To prove assault, the prosecutor must show that you did something that was likely to result in force against someone else, you did so willfully, and you had the ability to do so.

Some common defenses to simple assault include self-defense, inability to inflict force on another, you did not act willfully.

Simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor under California law and common penalties include a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) defines assault with a deadly weapon as an assault committed with a deadly weapon or by force likely to result in great bodily injury.

An example of assault with a deadly weapon is when a person points a gun at another person or drives a car into someone else.

In order to prove assault with a deadly weapon, a prosecutor must show that a deadly weapon was used to apply force against someone else and a reasonable person would believe that the act could cause great bodily injury.

A deadly weapon can be any object capable of inflicting harm on another. Examples of deadly weapons include guns and knives. Less common deadly weapons include a baseball bat, a dog, a pencil.

Common defenses to assault with a deadly weapon include the following: no weapon was involved, there was no intent, or that the weapon used was not a deadly weapon but one that was used with the ordinary use for which it was designed.

Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. How a prosecutor charges the offense depends on factors such as the type of weapon used, the severity of injury suffered, and finally whether the victim was a “protected person” such as a police officer or a firefighter.

Penalties for assault with a deadly weapon include: a 3 to 5-year probation period, a prison sentence of 4 years or more depending on the weapon used, and a fine not exceeding $10,000. Other penalties may include anger management classes, a protective order against you, and restitution to be paid to victim for any financial loss.

A felony conviction such as this will also permanently deprive you from using, possessing, or owning a firearm. A misdemeanor conviction will place a 10-year restriction on firearms.

Assault with a deadly weapon can also be a “strike” offense.


Battery is defined under penal code section 242 as the willful and unlawful touching of another person without their consent.

Examples of battery include pushing another person, throwing an object at someone, or spitting on someone.

A prosecutor must show that you intentionally touched another in an unlawful way without their permission.

Common defenses to battery may include consent to the touching, lack of intent, self-defense or defense of others.

The penalties for simple battery in most cases include a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) and/or up to six (6) months in county jail.

Battery on a police officer or peace officer

If the battery is committed on a police officer or peace officer while he is carrying out his duties and that person suffers any kind of injury, then you may be charged with a more serious crime under penal code section 243(b). Such a battery includes pushing an officer while he’s trying to make an arrest.
Peace officers include public servants such as lifeguards, search and rescue personnel, prison guards, campus police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and firefighters.
In addition to the battery itself, the prosecutor must prove that the battery was committed while the officer was engaged in the performance of his duties and that you knew or reasonably should have known that he was an officer carrying out his duties.
The crime of battery on a police/peace officer is punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or by jail time not exceeding one year, or by both.
If the injury inflicted requires medical attention, the prosecutor may charge the battery as a felony under Penal Code section 243(c)(2). The potential sentence for this charge is 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years jail time and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Battery with serious bodily injury
If the battery resulted in great bodily injury, like a broken nose, it is considered an “aggravated battery” under Penal Code section 243(d). It can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case and the criminal history of the defendant. Aggravated battery can be filed as a “strike” offense.

Carrying a concealed weapon
Under Penal Code section 25400, it is a crime to carry a concealed firearm on your person or in your vehicle. An outline of a handgun under your shirt or a long narrow bulge in your pants pocket counts as a concealed weapon under the law.

However, you are not guilty of this crime if your gun was in the trunk or in a locked box, except for a glove compartment AND you are legally entitled to own or possess a gun.

Carrying a concealed weapon can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. A misdemeanor conviction can carry up to one year in jail and/or a fine of no more than $1,000, as well as informal probation. For a felony conviction, you could face up to 3 years in state prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

A felony conviction may also prohibit you from owning or possessing a firearm in California in the future.

Wanting to Erase the Past? 

We can file an Expungement

Regardless of the type of violation, whether this is your first, second, or subsequent offense, our firm can help protect your rights and strive to minimize or completely eliminate your charges. We are aware of how damaging criminal charges can be for a person's future, which is why we are dedicated to providing affordable, professional, and unparalleled criminal defense services in the Orange County area.

Contact Darwish Law today!

Don't let one mistake ruin your future. Contact Darwish Law today to schedule a complimentary consultation with our criminal defense attorney. It is our goal to ensure you receive the best possible outcome! We can review your case and determine a course of action based on your end goals.

Do not wait to obtain the representation you deserve! Call Darwish Law today at

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Practice Areas

Assault & Battery


Assault on a Public Official

Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Battery on a Peace Officer

Domestic Violence

Child Abduction

Child Abuse

Child Endangerment

Child Neglect


Criminal Threats

Corporal Injury On A Spouse

Domestic Battery

Elder Abuse

Violation of A Restraining Order

Driving Offenses
Driving With A Suspended License
Underage DUI
DUI Defenses
DUI Checkpoint
Felony DUI
DUI Penalties
Hit and Run
Multiple DUI
Vehicular Manslaughter

Drug Crimes

Possession of Marijuana for Sale

California Marijuana Laws
Manufacturing Drugs

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Possession of Methamphetamine

Pre-Trial Diversion For Drug Crimes

Prop 36


Fraud Crimes

Auto Insurance Fraud

Credit Card Fraud

Gambling Fraud

Health Care Fraud

Real Estate Fraud

Gun Offenses

Carrying A Concealed Firearm

Evading A Police Officer



Lewd Acts With A Minor


Probation Violations

Property Crimes

Damaging Phone, Electrical or Utility Lines

Theft Crimes
Armed Robbery

Burglary of a Safe or Vault
Petty Theft
Grand Theft
Grand Theft Auto
Receiving Stolen Property

Sex Crimes
Child Molestation
Annoying Or Molesting A Child Under 18
Child Pornography

Forcible Sexual Penetration

Indecent Exposure
Lewd Conduct
Oral Copulation By Force/Fear
Sexual Battery
Prostitution & Solicitation

Violent Crimes
Attempted Murder
Welfare Fraud
Involuntary Manslaughter

White Collar Crimes

Forging Or Altering A Prescription
Misappropriation Of Public Funds

Contact Us

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy of legal practice is one of individualized attention.  We care about your story and work hard to make sure the best defense is created based on your version of events and the evidence before us.   We always work to serve the best interests of our clients.  Our philosophy emphasizes a caring and creative approach; we care about what each client wants and create the best possible strategy in order to achieve that.  Above all else, we aim to make sure you have a zealous and passionate advocate in your corner.  Our clients always walk away feeling that we did our utmost to get them the best result and something they are happy with at the end of the day.

Client Testimonials

Our team at Darwish Law CARES, COMMUNICATES, and CREATES a powerful defense.  When you hire Darwish Law, you hire a legal advocate who cares about you, will keep you informed, and will fight for you.  We make sure to treat each of our clients with kindness and respect and communicate with openness and honesty.  We take pride in knowing when we have met all our clients’ needs and obtained the results that they are content with.  

Our past clients highly recommend us and are confident that soon you will endorse us as well.

Practice Areas