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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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California Law

What are the Legal Drug Classifications?

Posted in California Law,Drug FAQ'S on July 22, 2021

Most people have heard that drugs are “classified” on certain schedules. However, it can be confusing to understand exactly what this drug schedule classification means. In 1970, the federal government passed the Controlled Substances Act in response to the growing drug epidemic in the US. This Act established five separate drug classifications (schedules). What are…

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Penal Code 32 PC – Accessory After the Fact

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense on July 8, 2021

It is likely that you have heard the term “accessory after the fact,” as this is a favorite of TV shows and movies. Often, you will see a law enforcement official threatening to charge someone with accessory after the fact if they are hiding someone who is committed a crime. The reality is that Penal…

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What is the Difference Between Parole and Probation?

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense,General FAQ'S on June 17, 2021

There is often confusion about the difference between parole and probation, particularly because these two words are thrown around together so often. We do want to stress that parole and probation are different, and it is critically important for any person facing either of these to understand what will happen moving forward. Here, we want…

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What is Custodial Interrogation?

Posted in California Law on June 10, 2021

When we watch TV shows or movies, we typically see law enforcement officers arresting somebody, reading them their Miranda rights, and then proceeding to question them. However, Miranda rights do not just occur in these types of situations. The Miranda requirements arise even if a suspect is subject to what is called “custodial interrogation.” Here,…

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Open Container Violations in California

Posted in California Law on June 3, 2021

In nearly all circumstances, it is unlawful to consume alcohol while driving or as a passenger inside a motor vehicle on the roadway. Additionally, it is unlawful to consume marijuana while a vehicle is in motion, either for a driver or a passenger. When we consider open container laws, we want to discuss what this…

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Simple Assault in California: 240 PC

Posted in California Law on May 12, 2021

It is illegal to assault somebody in California. However, adequately defining assault can be difficult. There are various laws on the books that pertain to assault, but here we want to focus on Penal Code 240 PC. Even though this law does not specifically say simple assault, that is generally what this law is referred…

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Hate Crime Laws in California

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense on April 28, 2021

When a crime is committed against a person based on their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, this can be classified as a hate crime. In California, hate crimes are taken seriously, and any person alleged to have committed a hate crime could face prosecution for a misdemeanor or a felony…

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Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense on March 29, 2021

Two of the main words used when discussing criminal cases are “felony” and “misdemeanor.” These two words, though both refer to types of criminal charges a person can face, have vastly different meanings when it comes to understanding the possible penalties for a particular offense. Here, we want to discuss the basic difference between a…

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SB 145: Amended Sex Offender Registration Laws in California

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense,Sex Crimes on March 15, 2021

Sex offender laws do change from time to time. One of the changes to California’s sex offender registration requirements came in 2020. California Senate Bill 145 (SB 145) was passed in an attempt to give judges the same discretion that they have for cases where a young adult and a minor engage in vaginal intercourse….

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SB 1437: Changes to Murder Sentencing in California Explained

Posted in California Law,Criminal Defense,Sentencing on March 9, 2021

California Senate Bill 1437 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2018, and this law made significant changes to the state’s felony murder rule. The felony murder rule is a centuries-old legal doctrine that has been used to hold people automatically liable for first-after a murder if a death occurs during the commission of…

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