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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.

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    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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Sentencing

Claiming Self-Defense in a Criminal Case

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on March 17, 2020

It is understood that a person has the right to protect themselves and their property from harm in most circumstances, even when the behavior or actions they take would generally be considered a crime. In California, defendants can claim self-defense in the event they are charged with a violent crime. What is Self-defense? Self-defense is…

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What Are the Pentalties For Petty Theft in California?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on February 29, 2020

There are several laws in California that relate to theft, the intentional and unlawful taking of another person’s property. In order for a theft to occur, there must have been the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property of the items taken. Penal Code 484 and Penal Code 488 It is a crime…

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Sentence Modification: Process, Requirements & Limitations

Posted in Criminal Defense,General FAQ'S,Sentencing on February 27, 2020

Going through the criminal court process is intimidating in confusing. Once a person is sentenced to a specific period or is already serving their time, they may wonder if there are any ways to reduce their sentence. Under certain circumstances, sentence modifications are possible under California law. Sentence modifications often involve: modifying a jail or…

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Arraignment Hearing Process in California

Posted in Criminal Defense,General FAQ'S,Sentencing on June 22, 2019

An arraignment hearing is the first court appearance a defendant will make after facing charges for a crime. During an arraignment, the defendant will hear the formal charges the court is pressing against him or her. The defendant will also have the opportunity to enter a plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Arraignments are…

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Misdemeanor Jail Time in California

Posted in General FAQ'S,Sentencing on May 25, 2019

The three main categories of crime in California are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are the least serious, felonies are the most serious, and misdemeanors are in the middle. The punishments for a misdemeanor depend on the circumstances of the crime, but often include jail time and/or fines. Knowing whether you will serve time in…

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What is a Presentence Investigation?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on January 14, 2019

After the police arrest an individual, there may be a period of time between conviction and sentencing. Depending on the severity of the charges and unique case factors, this window could be a few days or several months. During this time, a probation officer will likely interview the subject of the criminal case and prepare…

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How Much Jail Time for a Gun Charge

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on September 17, 2018

California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the country – and violating these laws can come with substantial consequences. As gun violations can be anywhere from a misdemeanor up to a felony, the specific penalty will vary depending on the severity of the crime. Often, such punishments involve fines, and restrictions on firearms…

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How to Prepare for Prison

Posted in General FAQ'S,Riverside Jails Information,Sentencing on July 26, 2017

After being convicted of a crime, a jail or prison sentence is likely to be most people’s worst case scenario, and for good reason. Jail and prison are not pleasant experiences in even the best of cases. If you’re facing criminal charges, a qualified and experienced Riverside criminal defense lawyer can help you secure less severe…

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What You Need to Know About House Arrest (PC 1203.016)

Posted in Sentencing on July 12, 2017

You’ll likely have many questions after a conviction for a crime, particularly when it comes to your sentencing. The court decides a punishment based on the severity of a crime and several other factors. While some charges typically lead to incarceration, special circumstances may qualify an individual for house arrest, an alternative to imprisonment. What…

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