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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

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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Expungement for Completion of Fire Camp in California

Posted in Criminal Defense,Expungement,Sentencing on February 4, 2021

Many people may not realize that inmates in California play an integral role in fighting fires throughout the state. As of October 2020, there were approximately 3,700 inmates working at fire camps in various areas throughout the state. These inmates work to provide various services, including firefighting services as well as support staff for firefighters,…

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How Are Plea Bargains Made?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on September 24, 2020

Getting arrested and charged with a crime can be an incredibly scary experience. Those who are facing charges and their family members are often left wondering what their options are. First, it is important to understand that you need to secure a Riverside defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled criminal attorney will be…

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How Does Criminal Sentencing Work in California?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on September 23, 2020

If you or somebody you care about has been arrested and charged with a crime, this is understandably a confusing and scary experience. Criminal cases can become even more terrifying for the defendant, particularly when prosecutors start throwing around large numbers when it comes to sentencing. Sentencing is often the most confusing part of a…

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What Is The Punishment For Fleeing And Eluding?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Sentencing on July 27, 2020

We have all seen reality TV shows where alleged perpetrators are fleeing from police. These Incidents do occur, though they are rarely as dramatic yes TV shows make them out to be. Sometimes, a person flees from or attempts to elude the police while they are on foot. Other times, a person may flee from…

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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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