(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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San Bernardino Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in San Bernardino, the process can feel overwhelming. You need a San Bernardino criminal defense attorney on your side to accurately represent you in the courtroom. If you need a legal representative in the San Bernardino area, look no further than The Law Offices of Graham Donath.

Contact our San Bernardino criminal defense lawyer today to schedule your free consultation for your criminal defense case. Our clients choose to hire our firm based on our award-winning reputation, proven track record, and experience on the other side of the law.

How Can Our San Bernardino Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

  • Our lead attorney, Graham Donath, served as a Deputy Public Defender for Riverside County. With this experience, Mr. Donath brings an intimate understanding of the prosecution side of the courtroom to benefit your case and craft compelling arguments on your behalf.
  • Our firm has won several awards over our years of operation, including the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California and the Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office.
  • Throughout your case, our firm ensures open and honest communication from consultation to verdict. We will always answer any questions you may have and keep you up-to-date on the status of your case.

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What Cases Does Graham Donath Handle?

The Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC handles multiple forms of criminal defense cases, with proven results and experience in many practice areas. No type of case is too difficult for us to defend, and we are not afraid to enter the courtroom to fight for your best interest.

  • Sex crimes and crimes involving children can include many sensitive issues and be difficult to litigate – but not for Graham Donath. We handle many types of cases involving sex crimes, including child molestation, child pornography, child abuse and endangerment, sexual assault, and other forms of criminal sex acts.
  • We have experience representing those accused of alcohol and drug-related charges, including driving under the influence, drug possession, drug sales, and drug manufacturing.
  • If you need assistance defending yourself against theft-related charges, Graham Donath can provide representation. We have experience representing clients in burglary, theft and grand theft crimes, and fraud and embezzlement charges.
  • It can be difficult to find a defense attorney willing to take on a violent crime charge. However, Graham Donath has significant experience defending clients accused of assault and battery, elder abuse, murder, domestic violence, and many other forms of violent crimes. Contact a Riverside domestic violence attorney if you have any questions regarding your charges.

In addition to the above practice areas, the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC can also defend cases involving juvenile crimes, criminal threat, gang crimes, and more. Contact us today to discuss the circumstances of your case and your legal options.

Why Do You Need an Attorney?

If you are facing any type of misdemeanor or felony charge in San Bernardino, California, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. While we understand that you have likely been told you can be supplied with the public defender, we caution against going this route. Public defenders in San Bernardino are typically overworked and handling dozens of cases at one time.

Can you guarantee that a public defender will be able to focus all of their attention on your case?

The answer is “No.” You need a San Bernardino criminal defense attorney who can focus solely on your case and help ensure the best outcome possible. Regardless of the charges you are facing, a criminal conviction can leave a permanent mark on your record. Every criminal case is different, but there are several benefits to having a skilled defense lawyer by your side that you need to consider.

1.      They have extensive legal knowledge

A criminal defense attorney will have extensive legal knowledge that they will bring to the case. They will know the laws pertaining to the charges you are facing as well as all of the possible penalties. Additionally, they will understand how to formulate any possible defense that can be used to defeat the charges.

2.      They know how to navigate the legal system

The legal system in California can be complicated, and you need to have an attorney that understands all of the parties involved. This includes judges and the prosecuting attorneys.

3.      They can save you from heavy penalties

The criminal justice system in California is complex, particularly when it comes to understanding all of the criminal statutes and their penalties. A criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino can shield you from harsh prosecution and help prove your innocence. Additionally, if the charges and facts of the case warrant a plea deal, an attorney will be able to vigorously negotiate with prosecutors in an effort to lessen the penalties involved.

4.      They have the resources necessary to handle the case efficiently

Most people charged with crimes do not have the resources necessary to properly defend themselves in court. However, an attorney will be able to use the resources of their office to gather all of the evidence necessary to make a case. This includes looking for witnesses, cross-examining these witnesses, and formulating a winning strategy. Additionally, an attorney will have the resources necessary to properly plan for backup strategies if they are unsuccessful in proving innocence.

5.      Legal assistance will save you time and money

A criminal defense attorney will be responsible for handling every aspect of your case so you do not have to. This will free you up to take time to manage your work and family affairs. A criminal defense attorney will understand the importance of ensuring that you get back to living your life so you can focus on moving forward.

6.      They can offer you emotional and technical support

Importantly, your attorney will have experience helping people get through situations just like yours. They will be able to discuss coping strategies to help with your emotional well-being while also assisting with your overall case.

San Bernardino criminal defense attorney

San Bernardino Criminal Court Information

If you receive a criminal charge in San Bernardino, you will have to attend your hearings at the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino. The criminal division of the court is located at 247 West Third Street in San Bernardino. The court is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. The lobby doors for the court open at 7:30am. You can contact the court at (909) 384-1888.

This criminal court has a dress code. You cannot wear shorts, tank tops, crop tops, or bare feet to your court appointment. However, the court allows both business and casual dress that fits these parameters. If you do not dress appropriately, the judicial officer could send you home.

What Occurs in a Misdemeanor Case?

Some criminal cases involve misdemeanors instead of felonies. These charges have lesser sanctions attached to them. In San Bernardino County, the maximum punishment is a $1,000 fine and/or a county jail sentence of 1 year or less. The fine may increase based on the type and circumstances of the offense at hand.

When an officer arrests you for a misdemeanor, the police will either take you to jail or release you when you sign a citation at the scene of the crime. You will likely receive a date to appear in court, after which one of three scenarios may occur.

  • The police release you and do not file charges against you.
  • You post bail or you release yourself on your own recognizance and the police schedule you for arraignment.
  • You will remain in the custody of the police and the police will bring you to the court for your arraignment.

At your arraignment, you will hear your charges and rights, as well as hire your attorney. The court will set your bail and you can post bail, or you can enter into a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty or no contest, you resolve the case at the arraignment and receive your charges. If you plead not guilty, you will attend a hearing at a later date.

If you plead not guilty, your attorney will engage in the discovery process with the prosecution. Your Riverside defense attorney will exchange and receive information such as police reports, photographs, blood test results, and other pieces of evidence involved in the case. Your attorney may file motions based on his judgment and prepare you for the settlement process. If you cannot settle the case beforehand, you will proceed to trial where the jury will hear evidence and decide the verdict.

Penalties You Could Face for a Sex Crime

It can be difficult to properly define the penalties a person can face for a sex crime. That is because there are many different sex crimes that a person could be charged with in California. First and foremost, the most severe sex crime penalties are assigned to Penal Code 261 PC, which defines the charge of rape. Rape in California is a serious felony offense that is punishable by up to 8 years in state prison.

However, there are various other sex crimes that a person can face in this state. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Lewd and lascivious acts
  • Sodomy
  • Oral copulation
  • Sexual battery
  • Unlawful sexual acts procured by false pretenses or fraud
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child
  • Sexual acts with a child 10 years of age or younger
  • Statutory rape

When looking at these cases, we will find that they will typically result in felony charges against the person accused. When a person is found guilty of a sex crime in California, they could face multiple years in state prison, significant fines, as well as a requirement to register as a sex offender for a certain amount of years or for life.

When someone is required to register as a sex offender in California, this can place significant challenges on them when it comes to finding adequate housing, gaining employment, attending school, securing a loan, etc. All registered sex offenders in California must continually check in with local law enforcement officials to update their residence and place of employment. Additionally, various types of information related to the person’s situation will be made available to the public, including a photograph, a list of their charges, what vehicles they drive, where they lived, where they work, and more.

criminal defense lawyer in San Bernardino

Penalties You Could Face for a DUI

Any person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California could face significant penalties. There are various facts and characteristics related to the offender that will be taken into consideration when it comes to determining whether the conviction results in a plea bargain or a jury verdict. There are maximum and minimum penalties that a judge can impose for a DUI conviction in California, and these ranges largely depend on the number of DUI convictions the defendant already has.

When a person receives their first DUI conviction, this will typically be considered a misdemeanor (so long as there are no aggravating circumstances involved). A conviction of a first offense DUI could lead to the following:

  • Anywhere from 48 hours to six months in jail. However, if a judge orders probation, there will be no mandatory jail time. First-time offenders often do not serve any jail time.
  • There will generally be a six-month license suspension for a first-time DUI conviction. Additionally, there will be a four-month administrative suspension imposed by the state DMV if the driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or more. It is important to note that any driver who refuses blood alcohol testing when requested by law enforcement will face an automatic one-year administrative license suspension.
  • A first-time DUI conviction will likely allow the offender to apply for a restricted license so they can drive to school or work. As a requirement for a restricted license, the offender will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle, but they will be allowed to start driving their vehicle right away.
  • First-time DUI offenders will usually receive a three-year informal probation term. This will likely include the requirement that they complete a three-month DUI school that consists of 30 hours of classes.
  • A first-time DUI conviction can carry fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, as well as a range of various penalty assessments that can increase this total amount.

For those who have been found guilty of a second DUI, they will likely face the following penalties:

  • Anywhere from 96 hours to one year in jail. However, some of this time could be served on house arrest or through alternative word programs.
  • For a second DUI conviction, there will generally be a two-year suspension from the criminal court as well as a 12-month administrative suspension for BAC levels of .08% or more. Any second offense will require a driver to have an ignition interlock device for at least one year.
  • Second-time DUI offenders will usually receive a three-year informal probation term. A judge may also require a person to complete multiple months of DUI school.
  • The fines for a second DUI are the same as a first conviction.

For those who have been found guilty of a third DUI, they will likely face the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence of 120 days (which can be lowered to 30 days if probation is granted and a 30 month DUI school ordered) to one year.
  • For a third DUI conviction, there will be a three-year license suspension from the criminal court. Additionally, there will be a 12-month administrative suspension for cases involving a BAC of .08% or more. Additionally, any person convicted of a third DUI will have to install an ignition interlock device for at least two years.
  • Most third-time DUI offenders will have to complete three to five years of informal probation. They will also likely have to attend a 30-month DUI school.
  • The fines for a third DUI are the same as a first and second.

It is important to note that felony DUI charges will carry much more severe penalties than misdemeanor charges. Felony DUI charges typically involved cases with injuries or deaths associated with the incident. Penalties can include significant prison terms.

How Do I Find Out If I Have a Warrant in San Bernardino County?

If you want to know if you have a warrant for your arrest in San Bernardino County, you can find out via multiple methods. Visiting a location in person can be risky, since the court could arrest you on the spot. You can search online on the San Bernardino County website through the San Bernardino County Open Access warrant search.

You can also contact the San Bernardino Clerk of the Courts’ Criminal Division at (909) 384-1888 and speak to the records department about any outstanding warrants. You can also speak to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at (909) 387-8313. You can also visit many websites that can search for a warrant for a fee.

Contact a San Bernardino Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you need criminal defense lawyer in San Bernardino, look no further than Graham Donath. With experience across multiple practice areas, our criminal attorney has the experience and the track record you need to build a strong defense for your criminal case. Contact the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your legal options.