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Orange County Bar Association

Orange County Criminal Lawyer

Will Bruzzo has been practicing criminal law for over 30 years. He appears in the four Orange County Courts often weekly: Harbor Justice Center-Newport Beach; North Justice Center-Fullerton; West Justice Center-Westminster; and Central Justice Center-Santa Ana. His familiarity with the Courts, the Judges and the District Attorneys over decades, has helped him get the best results for his clients. Mr. Bruzzo has represented clients on everything from very serious felony charges where clients are looking at life in prison, to misdemeanor charges which usually result in no custody time. Mr. Bruzzo knows that everything is relative, and while a misdemeanor charge may not result in jail, a conviction can still be financially or career damaging. That is why he starts representation on every case with the goal of dismissing the case and if possible, leaving “no trace” of the alleged offense. The “zero defect” world we live in requires nothing less than the maximum effort. Mr. Bruzzo’s many positive client reviews attest to his ability to get great results.

Mr. Bruzzo’s criminal law practice includes:

Drunk Driving offenses (Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a)/(b)/(e)/(g).  This is the most commonly charged crime in Southern California. Most drunk driving offenses are misdemeanors. However, if anyone is injured because of a drunk driver (“drunk” refers to intoxication by alcohol, drugs or medication), the case can be made a felony depending on the severity of the injury. A first time Drunk Driving offense without injury usually carries no jail time. However, Drunk Driving offenses are those rare crimes where prior convictions within a certain time frame of a new case increases the punishment. In Orange County, a 2nd Drunk Driving offense which occurs within 10-years of a previous Incident requires 60-days of jail. However, that jail time can be served on home confinement or in a DUI (no jail) Program. A 3rd Drunk Driving offense within 10-years of 2 previous drunk driving incidents carries a minimum of 120-days of jail. Fortunately, jail may be avoided on a 3rd drunk driving offense with a DUI Program and sometimes home confinement. A 4th Drunk Driving offense within 10-years of three drunk driving incidents can expose you to three years of prison, although DUI Court programs may make even a 4th Drunk Driving offense eligible for a program. In addition to the court punishments, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also acts separately and apart from the Court and may suspend or revoke your license barring you from driving for periods of time without exception. Will Bruzzo also represents drunk driving clients on the DMV portion of the case.  Call Orange County Drunk Driving Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a Free Consultation at (714) 547 4636 to see what your options are and your program eligibility.

Domestic Violence (Penal Code Sections 273.5(a) and 243(e)(1).  The difference between the Domestic Violence sections is that Penal Code Section 273.5(a), requires evidence of an actual visible injury (bruise, redness, scratch, broken bone, laceration) and Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) does not require a visible injury for it to be charged. Both of these charges can be misdemeanors and carry a maximum of 1 year in jail. However, most Domestic Violence charges result in no jail time. A Penal Code Section 273.5(a) can also be filed as a felony and carry up to four years in prison with serious injuries (broken bones, laceration requiring stitches). This section is rarely charged. Both types of Domestic Violence charges can result in the client losing his right to bear arms for 10-years in California and for lifetime weapons ban federally. Domestic Violence cases are often hard for the Prosecution to prove because of the he said/she said nature of the cases (See Practice Area on this website for more information). Notably, Domestic Violence cases are one of the rare crimes currently NOT eligible for a court program. Call Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer Will Bruzzo at (714) 547 4636 for a free consultation.

Assault and Battery (Penal Code Sections 240 and 242). These charges can be felonies or misdemeanors depending on any injuries or the severity of the assault. An assault occurs when anyone is reasonably put in fear of imminent harm. Imagine a knife is intentionally thrown at someone, but misses. That would be an assault. If the knife hit a person, then it would be a battery.  Batteries require actual contact with the victim. A fight between two people at a bar is a common example of a battery. Self-defense and defense of others is a complete defense to assault and battery charges. Both of these charges can carry 1 year in a jail and a weapons prohibition if convicted. However, it is very rare anyone serves jail time for these offenses as misdemeanors.

Petty Theft and Shoplifting (Penal Code Sections 484-488 and 459.9).  These charges usually apply to cases of theft from a business with a value of $950.00 or less. There are many programs available for these charges that avoid convictions for first time offenders. Mr. Bruzzo has helped even multiple offenders avoid jail time and convictions. Property offenses like these are considered much less serious than offenses against people, as such there are multiple options open to the client.  Call Orange County Theft Attorney Will Bruzzo at (714) 547 4636 for a free consultation.

Hit and Run (Vehicle Code Sections 20002(a) and 20001(a).  ‘Hit and Run’ refers to leaving the scene of an automobile collision without exchanging insurance information with the other party OR calling the authorities. A collision describes striking another object and/or another vehicle or a person. Often times these cases can be resolved with a Civil Compromise (Penal Code Sections 1377-1378). Civil Compromise refers to those criminal cases which may be dismissed with agreement of the victim and usually a payment for the damages sustained by the victim. The Judge must approve all civil compromises.  Please note, a ‘Hit and Run’ with bodily injury conviction (Vehicle Code Section 20001(a)) will result in a 1-year license suspension. This section can also be charged as a felony if the injuries are serious enough (broken bones, lacerations requiring stitches).  Call Orange County Hit and Run Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547-4636.

Possession of a Controlled Substance (Health and Safety Code Sections 11350(a) and 11377(a).  These crimes pertain to possession of certain ‘street’ drugs. They are always filed as misdemeanors.  The amount of the substance must be a ‘useable’ amount as opposed to an amount so small it is referred to as a ‘trace’ amount. An example of a drug prohibited by Health and Safety Code 11350(a) is Cocaine; a drug prohibited by Health and Safety Code Section 11377(a) is methamphetamine. Law enforcement has evolved on these crimes in the last couple of years and there are now many rehabilitation and treatment programs which the client can attend to earn a dismissal. Many of these programs can be completed without even a guilty plea. Call Orange County Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547-4636.

Sales of a Controlled Substance (Health and Safety Code Sections 11351 and 11378).  These crimes refer to those individuals engaged in the sales of a controlled substance like Cocaine or Methamphetamine.  Such conduct is prohibited by law.  Law enforcement charges these crimes when the following occur: (1) the client sells a controlled substance and law enforcement observe it; (2) the client sells a controlled substance to undercover law enforcement; (3) the amount of the substance in possession of the client exceeds the personal use amount; (4) there may be other indications of sales like pay/owe sheets and scales. These offenses are only filed as felonies. Often times first time offenders can avoid jail with a skilled attorney. Call Orange County Sales of a Controlled Substance Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547 4636.

Vehicular Homicide, Manslaughter (Penal Code Section 192(c).  This crime refers to a situation where excessively reckless driving that at a minimum violates a traffic infraction or misdemeanor, causes the death of a person. This crime may be charged as a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of 1-year or as a felony with a maximum punishment of 6-years. Call Vehicular Homicide Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consult at (714) 547 4636.

Murder (Penal Code Section 187). 1st Degree Murder refers to a Defendant who planned to kill another person not in self- defense. Also known as premediated murder. 2nd Degree Murder refers to a killing that was not premediated, but was accompanied by ‘malice’, defined as an intention to kill. However, malice may also be defined as conduct so reckless that the natural and probable consequence of the acts are dangerous to human life. Orange County and other Southern California jurisdictions now prosecute many drunk driving offenses that result in death, as second-degree murder offenses.  They argue that everyone ‘knows’ getting in a vehicle drunk and driving is dangerous to human life and therefore malicious, which permits the offenses to be charged as murder. This is despite the fact that Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide laws appear to be more appropriately charged for drunk driving offenses that cause death. Unfortunately, the California Supreme Court has upheld charging drunk drivers who cause death with murder in People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290. Often times, Prosecutors will not charge drunk drivers who kill someone with murder, unless they have prior drunk driving convictions. Defendants convicted of 1st degree murder will be sentenced to 25 years to life; Defendants convicted of 2nd degree murder, to include drunk drivers convicted of murder, will be sentenced to 15 years to life. Call Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547 4636.

In addition to the crimes mentioned above, Mr. Bruzzo represents clients on all Misdemeanor and Felony offenses.

Do you Qualify for a Diversion Program that Permits a Dismissal of the Charges?

When Mr. Bruzzo started out as a criminal defense attorney the number of diversion programs was limited. However, the Courts now offer a wide array of diversion programs and the Judges have far greater power in ordering programs to include over the District Attorney’s objection. Diversion programs can result in the client’s case getting dismissed upon completion. Mr. Bruzzo has availed his clients of numerous diversion programs to include Court Diversion (Penal Code Section 1001.95), Mental Health Diversion (Penal Code Section1001.36), Military Diversion (Penal Code Section 1001.80), DUI Court (Drunk Driving), Young Adult Court, Drug Court, Veteran’s Court and many others. Knowing how to present your case to the Judge and the District Attorney is critical to insure your client gets the program that permits him to eventually get his case dismissed. See a detailed description of diversion programs on this web site. Call Orange County Diversion Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547 4636.

Despite the availability of programs, sometimes old fashion ‘fighting for your client’ is what needs to be done and Mr. Bruzzo never backs down from a fight. He has also been successful taking cases to trial and winning “Not Guilty” verdicts.

Will Bruzzo gets great satisfaction from helping people in need. Call him today for a free consultation at (714) 547-4636

Orange County Restraining Order Lawyer

In addition to 30 years as an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, Mr. Bruzzo has represented clients on Restraining Orders in Orange County and throughout Southern California. Restraining Orders include Civil Harassment Restraining Orders (between unrelated people like neighbors) and Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (between spouses, people dating and family members). Mr. Bruzzo’s trial abilities are especially valuable in Restraining Order matters and he has helped many clients successfully bring Restraining Orders as well as defend them.

Will Bruzzo gets great satisfaction from helping people in need. Call him today for a free consultation at (714) 547-4636.

Military Lawyer

Will Bruzzo began his legal career over 30-years ago as a lawyer in the United States Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Major. He has continued to represent members of the United States Military throughout the country in military law matters to include criminal matters under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as well as administrative law cases. Mr. Bruzzo’s military criminal law practice includes representation on Positive Urinalysis (UCMJ Article 112a) and Sexual Assault (UCMJ Article 120) cases. He has earned the respect of Military Judges and Prosecutors nationwide over his 30-year career.

Call Military Lawyer Will Bruzzo for a free consultation at (714) 547 4636.

William W. Bruzzo

Meet Will Bruzzo

Will Bruzzo has been a lawyer since 1993. He has been admitted to the State Bar of California since 1996 and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1993. The primary emphasis of his practice has been criminal law.

Client Reviews

“I was charged with two counts of Vehicle Code 23109.1 [Engaging in a Speed Contest Causing Specified Injury] as a felony; two counts of Vehicle Code 23105(a) [Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury], one count of Penal Code Section 368(b)(1) [Elder and...


“I was arrested and charged with Penal Code Section 273.5(a) [Domestic Violence with Traumatic Injury]. Unfortunately, some of my actions were caught on video. In addition, an infant was present during the incident. My family hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to...


“I was pulled over for not having license plates on my car. The reason for that was because it was new. When the Officer pulled me over, he claims to have smelled marijuana and he began to ask me questions. I admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the...


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