Criminal Attorneys of Orange County

Firm Overview

Criminal Attorneys of Orange County (CAOC) is a boutique law firm that handles all sorts of criminal defense matters with passion and compassion. At CAOC, we utilize a client-centered approach in handling every case because we understand that every client has a unique background and brings to the table their unique experiences.

Facing criminal charges undoubtedly puts a lot of stress and anxiety on you and your family. CAOC is here to help. From the get-go, we will try to learn as much about you as we can so that we can understand your concerns and fears. We talk with you -not at you- because we know how important it is for you to be heard. Working as a team, we will creatively craft an individualized defense strategy specifically tailored to you. With us, you are not just a number; but a friend, a brother or sister, a mother or father. We want you to know that we are here for you and we vow to fight for you!
Main Office
Main Office
4000 MacArthur Blvd. East Tower
Suite 621
Newport Beach  CA  92660
  • (714) 725-7090


Free Initial Consultation?
Of course! In fact, we insist!
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
We take on all cases on a fixed fee. Transparency is key so you will know exactly what the fixed fee covers.

Office Information

Office Hours
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
English, Mandarin

Other Offices

San Diego Location
600 W. Broadway
Suite 700
San Diego,  CA  92101
Criminal Defense
Vigorous defense for you or your loved ones
We handle criminal cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious, strike felonies. We are here to help you understand and come up with creative, individualized defense strategies. Don't let the system treat you like a number!
Your rights, your liberty, let us be your attorneys!
You drank, you drove, you are guilty of DUI right? WRONG! There's so much more to a DUI than just those two facts! Don't let the system screw you over. Let us help you navigate the daunting criminal justice system. As we like to say: you have rights...use them!
Helping you to finally put everything behind you!
Expungements are one of the most rewarding things our firm does. We love our expungement clients because typically they have overcome tremendous hurtles and have turned their lives around.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Both Attorney Thomas Wang and Attorney Ariel Chiu have been through situations where they felt like just another number battling a daunting, unfair system. Their past experiences made them realize that they want to be there for people when they need it most. To Attorney Ariel Chiu and Attorney Thomas Wang, criminal defense litigation is the perfect arena for them to be warriors for those individuals down on their luck.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others?

Both Attorney Thomas Wang and Attorney Ariel Chiu value hands-on experience. They both became certified by the State Bar of California while they were still in law school and began handling a wide range of cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious and/or violent strike felonies. To this day, both Attorney Chiu and Attorney Wang continue refining their craft by consistently attending workshops and hands-on classes. In fact, post law school, Attorney Chiu applied to and graduated from Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers' College. In addition, Attorney Wang has been recognized as "10 Best Attorney" by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

We are true believers and we will go to bat for you. We treat every single one of our clients like family because we know how scary it is and how alone you feel. We promise to only take on your case if we can help and we promise to do everything we can to fight for you. We are available to you 24/7 and every time you call, you will speak to Attorney Ariel Chiu or Attorney Thomas Wang directly. Never a secretary, never a case manager. THAT is the CAOC experience!

Thomas Wang

Attorney Thomas Wang is one of the partners at Criminal Attorneys of Orange County. Mr. Wang proudly calls himself a "true believer" when it comes to criminal defense litigation.

As early as his college years, Mr. Wang studied under Professor Laurence Benner, a famed criminal defense lawyer and criminal law professor. Mr. Wang's academic abilities quickly shined through, which prompted Professor Benner to approach Mr. Wang with an intriguing challenge: to study alongside law students as an undergraduate. Mr. Wang gladly accepted the challenge.

"The class was a huge challenge. I was competing with law students as an undergraduate!" Despite the clear disadvantage, Mr. Wang somehow beat out a class full of law students and graduated with the highest grade in the class. Two years later, Mr. Wang returned to law school, this time as a scholarship student.

Mr. Wang would go on to accumulate many accolades during his law school career. These include:
Serve as an associate editor and writer for the law review and International Law Journal,
Receive the George S. Lee Scholarship and the Higgs, Fletcher & Mack Diversity Scholarship,
Recognized three times as a distinguished advocate,
Placing second in the Gafford Trial Competition,
Serve as the co-founder and President of the Criminal Law Association, etc.

Perhaps more impressively, Mr. Wang accumulated his accolades all while he balanced a full time school and work schedule. With his eyes set on criminal defense litigation, Mr. Wang was determined to hone his skills through real life experience. As such, Mr. Wang served various stints at the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender. There, Mr. Wang handled a wide variety of cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious strike felony cases.

In between his time serving the pubic, Mr. Wang also joined the Chula Vista Superior Court as an extern for the criminal division. There, Mr. Wang made recommendations that assisted judges to rule on various criminal motions and writs.

After graduating with honors from the California Western School of Law, Mr. Wang passed the famously difficult California Bar Exam on his first attempt. Shortly after, Mr. Wang started his own criminal defense practice. As a solo practitioner, Mr. Wang successfully defended his clients in a wide range of cases, including: DUI's, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, drug possession, drug cultivation, gang shooting, etc. Mr. Wang also served as an "of counsel" attorney for many attorneys in the greater San Diego and Orange County area.

Outside of his criminal defense practice, Mr. Wang is also very involved in the community. He currently serves as the Vice President of the San Diego Chinese Attorneys Association, and is a member of both the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the Criminal Defense Bar Association.

Mr. Wang's success is self-evident. He credits his success to a focus on all of his clients. "Criminal defense, unlike other areas of law, requires a tremendous amount of rapport and trust between the client and the attorney. Nothing is more important to me than giving my clients the individual attention they deserve."

Ariel Chiu

Ariel Chiu is one of the partners at Criminal Attorneys of Orange County. Ms. Chiu firmly believes that the key to a successful attorney-client relationship is communication. As such, she insists on personally meeting every client by conducting the initial consultations. Starting from the initial consultation, Ms. Chiu will begin assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the case and begin putting together an individualized defense strategy.

Ms. Chiu's first exposure to criminal defense was through her internship the San Diego County Office of the Public Defender, where she served as an investigative intern. There, she learned to identify key facts and evidence that help strengthen the defense's case. Ms. Chiu's experience as an investigative intern further strengthened her interest in defending the accused. And so, in pursuit of her dreams, she decided to go to law school.

At California Western School of Law, Ms. Chiu served as an Associate Editor and Associate Writer of Law Review and International Law Journal. In addition, she served as the President of Criminal Law Association and Board Member of Moot Court Honors Board. Ms. Chiu was also recognized as a Distinguished Advocate for winning first place in the Lynch Appellate Competition.

From the beginning, Ms. Chiu recognized the importance of hands-on experience. As such, at her first opportunity, Ms. Chiu became certified by the State Bar of California through the Practical Training of Law Students Program. Immediately after her certification, Ms. Chiu began handling cases under the supervision of other attorneys. Ms. Chiu handled a wide range of cases from simple misdemeanors to serious strike felonies in all San Diego County courthouses.

Ms. Chiu's sharp legal acumen and tireless work ethic proved fruitful; she graduated with high honors and passed the notoriously difficult California Bar Exam on her first attempt. Immediately upon graduation, Ms. Chiu started her own firm defending criminal cases all over Southern California.

Understanding the importance of continued training and education, Ms. Chiu applied, attended, and graduated from Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer's College a college designed specifically to train trial attorneys. Today, Ms. Chiu remains confident that criminal defense litigation is her passion and continues to refine her craft through various workshops and programs.

Outside of the law, Ms. Chiu enjoys learning new languages and related culture. She speaks fluent Mandarin, has a working knowledge of French, and owns a Bachelor's degree in American Sign Language. During her free time, Ms. Chiu often volunteer at various community-based legal clinics and social service functions.

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