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Mark Daniel Melnick

DUI and DWI Attorney at Van Nuys, CA

5.0   15 reviews
  • Licensed for 44 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1979
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Mark

Learn Mark’s areas of practice.

First of all, although his name is "Mark Daniel", Mr. Melnick is known to his friends as simply "Dan" (it's a long story).
Dan Melnick was born in Santa Monica, California and he grew up in the San Fernando Valley. After high school he got a job working for United Artists as a production assistant and spent nearly a year in Yugoslavia making (and appearing in) the movie Fiddler on the Roof. Upon his return to the U.S. Dan attended UCLA and graduated in 1975. Following his graduation from UCLA he went to work helping a family friend finish building a 60 foot cement sail boat and helped him sail it to Hawaii during the summer of 1975. With 2500 miles and 3 months of sailing behind him Dan returned and  attended Law School at the University of San Fernando Valley School of law, graduating in 1978. During his years in college and law school he worked and supported himself as a night crew and deli clerk at Ralphs Grocery store in Sherman Oaks. Notably, Dan is still friends with many of his old coworkers from his days of stocking shelves.

Shortly after passing the Bar exam Mr. Melnick went to work in Chicago as a management labor law and labor relations consultant for the premiere consulting firm in the country. In 1983 he again returned to the Los Angeles area to practice labor law, but that didn't last long. Early in his practice Mr. Melnick was referred a criminal case for trial. He tried the case and realized that criminal defense was his calling. It was in criminal defense that he felt he was able to truly provide a service that helped people on a personal level. Instead of reading contracts and arguing with management and unions he was able to work in a court room directly with his clients and juries. Most importantly, instead of helping big companies he was now able to protect "the little Guy" from the often oppressive government prosecutors. Since that first case, Dan Melnick has handled thousands of criminal cases of virtually every type, large and small, and to this day he continues to fight for the individual.

In his spare time Dan is an avid ice hockey player and he has played all over the world including Austria, Australia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Fifteen years ago one of the local leagues was named in his honor when the name was changed to the "Melnick Division". He is also a licensed Scuba Instructor and a commercially licensed sea captain with a fifty ton masters license. In 2002, Dan sold his law practice and left for an extended cruise on his sailboat. After sailing the waters of Mexico and Central America all the way to Costa Rica (4000 miles) in all kinds of  weather, Dan returned to Los Angeles in 2006 and returned to the practice of law. 

Because of his background, Dan can relate to people from all walks of life., He is a guy who is comfortable in a tuxedo or shorts and a t-shirt. He can (and has) fit in at the best Beverly Hills bistro or the corner bar in Van Nuys.  All of his experience and success, legal and otherwise, gives Dan Melnick the knowledge,  patience,  understanding and strength to deal with the stess and concerns of his clients and the ability to sucessfully fight the stringent demands of the legal system.  


"If you hire me, I will be your lawyer. No one else!
I will take your calls day or night. No one else!
I will make time for you.
We will not be strangers and all your questions will get answers.
It's more than buisness, it's personal! That's my commitment to my clients."

Dan Melnick

Photos and videos


Mark Daniel Melnick
14401 Sylmar St
Suite 201
Van Nuys, CA, 91401

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5.0 / 5.0
  15 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Marcos | September 18, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely Helpful
Called Mr. Melnick, He explained everything to me, what my next steps were and assisted me with the whole legal process. I can't say enough about how honest and upfront he was with me and was very professional the whole time! 10/10 would recommend to anyone. no need to shop around, money well spent!
Posted by anonymous | January 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Client Review - very satisfied
Dan handled my felony case with exceptional care and effectiveness. For my case, Dan performed really well at key inflection points, often showing creativity and thoroughness in his arguments. I was left feeling that I had just the right attorney for my situation, and the fact that Dan is highly respected by judges as honest and ethical, played into my very successful result. I can't recommend him highly enough.
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Posted by Emiliana | August 27, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgeable and caring
I came to Dan a few times and I want to say it was the best decision I've made. He was very straightforward with me and the best part is the many years of experience he has. He was able to pretty much guess the outcome of my case from just our first consultation. He's a great guy and very easy going and caring!
Posted by anonymous | January 26, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Nice man and skilled
I spoke with Mr. Melnick. He is a kind man. He was compassionate about my family and my situation. He helped my understand the case better. I would highly recommend him.
Posted by Jessica | October 23, 2014
The best!!!
Dan was extremely helpful, he was knowledgeable and honest with the possibilities of the case. I had four felonies on a sales case and I was facing 8 years minimum with priors. He was able to negotiate with the D.A. to drop three of the charges and I had the choice between 180 days in jail or 45 days cal trans. He truly cares about his clients and goes to bat for them the way a lawyer should. Its more than just a job for Dan.
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Posted by Kyle | April 23, 2012
The best Attorney in Los angeles County
Look no further. I must say that Dan, is likely the most experienced and respected attorneys around Southern California.He truly cares about your well being and always goes out of his way to help out. Hes not your runaround type attorney. He takes your case very seriously,and enjoys the challenge even after 30 plus years. Trust me,I have had Dan as my attorney since 1993.I had a rough time early on in life and had felonies that could have ruined my life. He would not let me plea out for felonies insisting we try for misdeameanors. We Never lost. Forever grateful for his decisions. A true sign he cares. Thanks Dan!
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Posted by anonymous | December 21, 2011
I have known Dan for many years now. Several years ago he got me out of what I thought was a very big jam. I was very grateful and turned my life around. Sadly things got to be more than I could handle and I slipped into a downward spiral that got me arrested for the second time in 3 months by February for the same charge. Now I WAS in the biggest jam I had ever faced looking at a 16 year prison term. Dan fought for me not to go to prison. Everything was pointing in that direction. In the end Dan convinced the judge that prison was not the place for me, to which the judge agreed, much to the objection of the District Attorney. Dan did for me what no public defender could have or would have done. I am writing this review today because I had someone who really DEFENDED me. Dan will forever be my hero and I will forever be his biggest fan.
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Posted by Mr. W | December 8, 2010
A couple years ago I was involved in a terrible DUI where the arresting officers tried to add additional charges and make felonies stick. I hired Dan and he was able to take 3 charges down to one...with no felony. Looking for work would have not been any easy task with that on my record! After putting ones life back together after such problems is hard enough without the constant reminders coming in your mail box from the DMV and various police and insurance agencies. He even intercepted the mail and took care of those constant reminders as well! EVERYONE says they know of a good lawyer...but Dan is by far the best and in a leauge of his own. Without him on my case I have no doubt I would not be writing on a computer keyboard right now...I would be licking a stamp and writing in pencil. YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYONE BETTER OR MORE RELIABLE!
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Posted by Lou | October 1, 2009
Dan Melnick's help
Dan went over and beyond with help on my daughter's case. Dan is as good as they get. Top notch in his field. We were so very happy with all aspects of his service... He is a true professional..
Posted by Dan | October 1, 2009
A very good lawyer
I was very nervous about my situation with the courts. He was able to help me through everything and made it a litttle less stressful. I was very happy with the his work.
Posted by Romaine | October 1, 2009
Superior Representation
Mr Melnick has been my attorney for the last fifteen years. In those fifteen years Mr. Melnick has demonstrated the utmost Professoinalism, knowledge and most of all genuine approach when dealing with my cases. Mr. Melnick's thirty years of expertise is a comforting factor while going through adverse situations. His honesty, integrity and results are the reason i have choosen Mr. Melnick to be my attorney.
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Posted by Christina | October 1, 2009
Not just my lawyer but my friend.
When I met Dan I actually needed him for my sister. He was recommended to me by someone I don't even talk to anymore. Eventually I needed him myself, not just once. He has been my attorney on I don't know 2 or 3 cases. I loved him from the start. He was always kind and friendly even though what I had done was absolutely wrong. He was more like a friend to me and eventually became one as far as if I need him, he's a phone call away. He did me the best or better than any other attorney could have. Why? Because he cared about what happened to me. For that I am forever grateful. After he defended me in my last case I quit committing crimes and doing drugs. I will be 10 years sober in December and I don't think I could have done it without his help. He has help me out of a couple of jams since then, but nothing that ended me up in court. I am forever grateful to him.
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Posted by anonymous | October 1, 2009
Highly Recommended Attorney
Dan Melnick was a fantastic attorney during my DUI case. He is very professional and yet very personable. He conveyed that he actually cared about me and how I was doing, and often asked how I was doing and handling everything. He allowed me to call him any time day or night with questions and concerns and promptly returned my calls. He also allowed me to set up a payment plan that worked best for my financial situation. He provided me with realistic expectations and saved me from a lot of heartache by minimizing all I had to do. He also helped me get enrolled in the required classes when they were going to turn me away! Without him I would have been at loss at what do and would have made some kind of mistake. I highly recommend Dan Melnick- you do need an attorney if you have been charged with a DUI and he will do all that is possible to get you through it with the least pain possible!
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Posted by Henry | September 30, 2009
Cares about the details and fights for your rights!
Honestly, I am very happy with the degree of professionalism attained from Dan Melnick. I can tell you that he definitely knows his stuff and genuinely cares about you as a person. Usually attorneys are stereotyped to be cold and cruel, but not Dan. He was always willing to work with me and was very attentive when it came to my situation. I was able to reach him at anytime and he was always willing to listen to any issues or concerns I may have had. That's why I am taking the time to write this review and highly recommend him, and his law firm, to anyone looking for a great attorney in criminal law.
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Posted by anonymous | January 16, 2009
This man really knows the ins and outs of crimminal law. He is above and beyond any attorney I've ever come across. He really does care about you, personally. He's always there when you need him, day or night.
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Melnick & Spindel
  • 2006 - Present
  • Defense Attorney
  • Mary Magdalene Project
  • 1999 - 2006
  • Judge Pro Tem
  • Los Municipal Court
  • 1989 - 1991
  • Professor
  • Northroup University
  • 1983 - 1984
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Mark Daniel Melnick
  • 1983 - 2006
  • In House Counsel
  • Hockey America
  • 1983 - 1984
View all work experience


  • San Fernando Valley College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1979
  • Univ of California at Los Angeles
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1975

Sample of Legal Cases

  • People v L.R.
  • Case Dismissed
  • People v M.S.
  • Case Dismissed


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Officer
  • 2008 - Present
  • USCG
  • Commercial Captain
  • 1998 - Present
  • PADI
  • Instructor
  • 1991 - Present
  • United States District Court for the District of Arizona
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • Member
  • 1987 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Municipal Court of Los Angeles
  • 1991
  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Municipal Court of Los Angeles
  • 1989


  • Various
  • The ABCs Of The California Criminal Justice System
  • 2013
  • Self
  • Understanding California Drunk Driving Laws
  • 2007

Speaking Engagements

  • Money Leads Business Group
  • DUI and Drugs
  • 2014
  • PBX Business Group Meeting
  • Criminal Justice Misperceptions
  • 2010
  • Kennedy High School
  • Criminal Law and High School
  • 2009

Attorney endorsements

Received (7)
Given (4)
Endorse Mark
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Melnick is an experienced advocate who has seen it all and knows everybody in town. His wise counsel, perfect legal instincts and friendly, approachable style not only make him an excellent attorney, but also a mentor for younger lawyers."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. If you want to to know exactly what to do in any possible criminal prosecution, ask Dan. He's seen it, done it, and knows how to handle it. He's also a very nice, approachable guy who will go out of his way to help. If I were in a jam, I would call Dan."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Sep 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Dan is a caring, experienced lawyer who's seen it all and is always ready to drop what he's doing to come to the aid of someone in trouble. I can't recommend him highly enough for anyone in trouble or seeking answers."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense

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