(951) 667-5293

Orange County:

(714) 758-5293

who you hire can make all the difference

Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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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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Preliminary Hearings FAQ’S

When Should You Consider Taking a Plea Deal?

Posted in Preliminary Hearings FAQ'S on November 24, 2017

Today’s criminal justice system suffers from too much work and too little staff. The burden on the justice system often makes it advantageous for both sides to reach an agreement that does not result in a case going all the way to trial. For the judiciary, this presents an attractive reason to approve plea bargains….

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What Happens At A Preliminary Hearing In Riverside Courts?

Posted in Preliminary Hearings FAQ'S on October 4, 2017

A preliminary court hearing is a”trial before a trial” so a judge may determine if there is or is not enough evidence to proceed with a criminal case and force a defendant to stand trial. It’s not a replacement for the actual trial with a jury or to find the defendant “guilty” or “not guilty,”…

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Do I Have To Have Witnesses At Preliminary Hearing In Riverside?

Posted in Preliminary Hearings FAQ'S on January 20, 2013

Generally speaking, preliminary hearing is not used to put on evidence for your defense even though you do have the right to present evidence. This is because typically the Judge will still hold you to answer to the charges, but now you’ve exposed your defense to the prosecutor and the police, who will then immediately…

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In Riverside, Do All Witnesses Testify At Preliminary Hearing?

Posted in Preliminary Hearings FAQ'S on January 14, 2013

Unfortunately, no. In 1990, California voters passed Proposition 115, which created a number of massive changes in California criminal law and procedure. One of those changes allowed for pre-qualified officers to testify to hearsay at preliminary hearing. As a result, nowadays almost all preliminary hearings are done by having officers testify about what other witnesses…

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What Is A Preliminary Hearing In Riverside?

Posted in Preliminary Hearings FAQ'S on November 7, 2012

In California, any defendant who is charged with a Felony has the right to an evidentiary hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a particular crime was committed, and if so, whether the defendant was responsible in some manner for that crime. The majority of criminal cases go through a preliminary hearing…

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