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If you  or a loved on is facing criminal charges in Fresno or any other county in California, and after reading this article you have any quesions give us a call and we can help you 559 441-1418. 

 

Defendants who are convicted  of Fresno County offenses may faceb a wide variety of consequences.  People convicted of Felonies may have a hard time finding jobs even some housing may be affected.  Also, some state licensing agencies will not allow you to obtain certain State professional licenses.  And you will lose your right to own or possess a firearm.  

CAN CERTAIN FELONIES BE REDUCED TO A MISDEMEANOR?

If you are convicted of certain Felony offenses you may be eligible to have that Felony reduced to per Penal Code section 17b and possibly even expunged which would give you even more protection under the law. This is a critical step for people trying to move on with there lives.  

WHAT IS THE PROCESS? 

If we were your Attorney we petition the Court to reduce the Felony conviction to a Misdemeanor per 17 b.

WHAT IS PENAL CODE SECTION 17 B. 

Under Penal Code section 17b a person convicted of a Felony that could have been filed as a Misdemeanor is eligible to have the offense reduced per 17b, this is a so called "wobbler" offense.  

WHAT OFFENSES ARE CONSIDERED "WOBBLERS" 

The Felony you were convicted of must be one in the California Penal Code that is is one that could have been charged as a Felony or Misdemeanor.   And you must have been granted probation for this penal code section to be applicable.  

Burglary

Grand theft 487

Criminal Threats 422

And Spousal Battery 273.5

Felonies that can only be charged as a Felony are not reducable under this Penal Code.  

Under 17b a Felony can be reduced after the preliminary hearing or at the time of sentencing.  or even folowing a plea of guilty or no contest.  I have had Judges decide the reduce at all the above times and even at trial after the prosecution has presented there cases.  We asked the Judge to throw the case out under 1118 but instead the Judge reduced to a Misdemanor the cleint pled to the Misdemeanor and the case was over and the client was immediately released time served.  

EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION?

Yes the Judge can even reduce if you have completed all the terms and conditions of probation then the Judge can terminate probation and reduce to a Misdemenaor and then even expunge we have had this scenerior occur on at least two occasions.  

WHAT FACTORS DOES THE COURT CONSIDER IN GRANTING A REDUCTION?

In deciding whether to grant the reduction the court will take into consideration several factors including: The underlying facts of the offense, the defendant's performance on probation, the defendant's criminal history, and the circumstances that would support the misdemeanor reduction.  such as potential job offers or an upcoming background investigation where the reduction could help the person get the job and move on with their lives.  

THINGS A REDUCTION DOES NOT HELP WITH

If required to register you will still have to register, if you are given a strike then you will have have that strike on your record and there could be other consequences not releived as a result of getting the case reduced.  If after reading this article you are interested in possibly getting your conviction reduced then give us a call and we will see how we can help you get started.

We have helped many people move on with there lives and we can help you so give us a call 559-441-1418. 

 

 

 

 

For example

 

 

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Fresno or anywhere in California you will have a lot of questions as to what is happenning and what penalties you will be getting.   Below I will break down at least a little the differences in the penalties for 1st 2nd and third duis.  

 

While each case is different if convicted of a DUI you coulb be facing the following penalties:

FIRST OFFENSE:

Up to six months in Jail

Possibility of ignition interlock device installed in your car.

Up to 10 months drivers license suspension 

Up to $2,600.00 in fines

SECOND OFFENSE:

Up to one year in jail

Instillation of an ignition intelock device in your car 

Up to 2-years drivers license suspension  

Up to $2,800.00 in fines 

THIRD OFFENSE:

Up to one year in jail 

Instillation of ignition interlock device in your vehicle 

Up to 3 years drivers suspension 

Up to 3 years drivers license suspension

These are baslines and do not include minimums in Fresno County althogh each case is different the baselines or minimums could be much less than what is put forth above.  For example the first offense for a DUI in fresno county usually means a DUI class and a 4-8 days of alternative work program instead of jial and a drivers license suspension.  

The Judge will take into account such things as BAC and other considerations.   The Judge will take into consdiration when you pled at what stage in the proceedings and other factors in determining your exact sentence.  

WHAT IS THE DECISIONS FOR LIFE CLASS?

Decisions for life is a local class that is offered in Fresno County and may be offered in different counties whith a different name.  If you complet the class and pay for the class your fine could be reduced by up to half.  You just have to complete the class and show proof.  Usually this is a one day class and does not require a lot of money to attend. 

WHAT IS AOWP?

This is the initials for alternative work program.  Often instead of being locked up in the County Jail the Court will order you to attend alternative work program time which means that you will not be locked up in the county jail you will instead be able to pick up trash, do other things ordered by the Fresno County jail so that  you don't have to do in custody time.  AOWP is actually meant to be in custody time.  

The results of a DUI can be many and long lasting the law seems to be changin on an almost daily basis.  However, if you have questions you can give us a call as an Attorney with more than 16 years of experience that has both prosecuted and defended cases you can count on me to help you get through this. 

HOW LONG WILL I BE ON PROBATION?

You can be on probatio for 2-5 years and during that time period you cannot have any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood stream while drivng any mototirized vehicle.  This includes cars, motorcycles, atv's and all other rest.  If you are caught driving with measruable amounto alcohol your probation coujld be violated and you could go to jail or have your probation start over.  

If after reading all this you have questions give us a call at 559441-1418 and we can see how we can help you get through having helped many hundreds of people before we can get you through this time in your life especially if you have not been through the system before you will need someone to help you get through this and we can help you. 

If you or a loved one has been accused of crime it is vital that you get experienced counsel to help you with your legal problems. As an Attorney with more than 16 years of experience and someone that has the know how to help people through there difficult circumstances.  Having done both trials in plea deals in more than 12 different counties and represented thousands of client I have the experience to help you.  Many cases require more expertise than what the local "dui guy" can give. so give us a call after you read this article if you have any questions.  

BEING CHARGED WITH CRIME.  

If you have been charged with a crime you may be confused and scared.  You may not be guilty of the crime you may not understand the legal process and it gets more scary as you go along.  In some cases the prosecutors will allege charges that may be difficult if not impossible to prove in order to help in plea negotiations.  If you have been charged with a crime you have probably heard the words plea deal in your case and may confused as to what that really means.  

WHAT IS A PLEA DEAL?

A plea bargain or a deal is an agreement between you and the prosecutors where you of what offense you will plea to and what the ramifications or sentencing you will get for that plea or "bargain" 

A sentence is always up to the sole discretion of the Judge and we will get further into that below. 

Plead deals are unique and very fact specific to the case at hand.  And can very as much as individual cases very. There are several kinds of Plea deals that occur every day in courtrooms across California. 

STIPULATED DEAL

A stipulated deal means that the prosecution and defense agree as to what the terms of the agreement are and the sentence.  If the Judge agrees with this agreement that is what you will be sentenced to.  For example you agree to plea guilty to one count of domestic battery and the agree with the prosecutor you will get Felony probation or wha tis commonly referred to as NISP or no iniital state prison time. 

WHAT IS A SO CALLED LID OFFER?

A lid means there is not an exact agreement reached but rather a range. For example you plead guitly and the District Attorney agrees that there will be a 16 month lid. What this means is that you will at most, get a 16 month prison sentence however, you could get probation the 16 months is the lid of the amount of time you can get. 

WHAT IS A COURT INDICATED? 

A court indicated is when you go to the Judge and ask the Judge what the court will give the person if they plead guilty without or sometimes with the District Attorney not agreeing.  This means it takes away some of the guess work as to what you would get. 

 

All of the above are good options but only depending on the factual circumstances of your case and wether or not you want to go to trial the final decision is yours.  And I have done many many Felony, Misdemeanor, and Juvenile trials we dont push people into anything although sometimes there is such a good offer from the prosecution that sometimes it is absolutely in your best interest to take the offer from the proseucution.  This is a case by case determination based upon how good the case against you is.

 

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If you had a convicted of a Juvenile crime you may be eligible to have the case dismissed or sealed per the new sealing and  destruction of case laws that have made sealing your Juvenile records easier.  

There is a fairly simple process to follow.  However, you should consult an Attorney and get a good legal opinion as to your rights.

THE PROCESS FOR SEALING OF JUNENILE RECORDS

To get an application in Fresno County go to the Probation Department or you can have it sent by mail, or downloaded. 

Our office would review you eligibility requirements for Juvenile sealing, complete the forms and return them to the Probation Department by mail, or have them personally served. 

We will look into your record and do an investigation as to your eligbility and other matters as to your Juvenile record.  This investigation will consider your basic eligibility, criminal background check, and evidence of rehabilitation.  Based on this investigation, the probation officer will write either a report recommending either that  your record be sealed, or stating that you are not eligible to have your record sealed and why. The probation officer will give us a letter stating whether they believe you are eligible and why. 

COURT HEARING

The court and the Juvenile Judge will review your information and the recommendation of either sealing or denying the sealing.  There will be a hearing set and a date given to you to show up in court.  At the Court hearing there will be a Judge, an Attorney and there will be a formal hearing, where the Judge will review the recommendation  of probation and make a decision as to whether the matter will be sealed.  Although not mandatory you should definitely be availiable for this hearing. 

OUTCOME

Once the Judge reviews your application they will either grant or deny your request to seal your juvenile records.  A judge may choose to deny your application for reasons including a lack of rehabilitation, adult chages, and crimes of moral turpitude.  

IF YOUR APPLICATION IS GRANTED

The court will send a record sealing order to all agencies involved in your case, which includes, but is not limited to, police agencies, probation agencies, and courts.  The order will direct the agencies you listed on your application to seal your record and to respond to anyone asking about your juvenile record to say "The applicant has no record" Once your record is sealed, you may legally say that you do not have a Juvenile record.  

Sealing a Juvenile record does not effect the ability of insurance companies to access your records through department of motor vehicles (DMV) in Sacramento, nor will it prevent the Federal Government inlcuding branches of military service from accessing your sealed records pursuant to Section 781 of the Welfare and Institutions code.  

All of the juveile records must be reported even though sealed when applying for a security clearance or employment with a private company that engages in business with the Federal Government.  

If you are denied you may re apply at a later time.  

The best thing to do is if you have questions give us a call and we can help you get started on the process which could be a long and difficult process.  

But we have helped many minors in the past and know that you can be helped and you may need some help with the process to ensure that if you are able to get this relief you get it done rather than have a problem at a later time.  If you have quesitons give us a call at 559441-1418. And we can make an appontment.

 

If you have been convicted of crimes in the past and want to move on with your life than you should give us a call so that we can help you with the process, we have helped many other people get there lives back on track after convictions.  As an Attorney with more than 16 years of experience  I can help you get through this. 

WHAT IS AN EXPUNGEMENT?

A succesful Expungement will withdraw "guilty" or "no contest" plea and dismiss the case.  Defendants convicted of a Misdemeanor, or Felons sentenced to probation, local county time "aowp" and other local committements may be eligible for an expungement.  Even people with AB 109 time may be eligible for expungements.  

Defendants may  file this petition once they have paid all fines are not currently on probation for another offense, and have no active cases before the court. 

BENEFITS OF A DISMISSAL?

The offense is no longer considered a conviction

If all of your convctions are dismissed you can mark "no convctions" on applications

All empolyers cannot legally consider as a basis for employement or non employment or advancement or lack of advancement.

May help with licensing with state agencies.  (Nursing, LVN, and teaching Credential) 

May help with housing or voucher programs

may help with Immigration consequences

May help with eligbility for financial aid

WHAT ARE NOT THE BENEFITS OF A DISMISSAL?

It can still be used for future prosecutions

May still limit professional and occupational licenses 

Does not affect your gun rights and 

There could be other limits to the expungement.  Many people will ask me if it is still worth it to do the expungement, and my answere most of the time is yes it almost always helps I think to get an update on your records and to help you get back on your feet, and get some of these problems behind you.  

When doing expungements we will usually order your records including DOJ and local records to research to determine exacly how the expungement will help you and then move forward by getting a court date.

The Judge makes the final determination on the case some expungements are discretionary and some are not.  

The best thing for you to do is get the expungements done and move forward with an update of your "rap sheet" and criminal history to help you as much as possible. 

If after reading this article you have more questions give us a call at 559-441-1418.   

 

If after reading this article you have any questions about the specifics as to how to clean up your record give us a call at 559-441-1418.  we can help you to get this part of your life behind you.  

STEPS TO CLEANING UP YOUR RECORD

 

1.  The first thing you need to do when cleaning up your record is to find out exactly what is in your criminal record.  

bolow are some ways to go about this

 

Go to the clerks office and get a copy of your criminal history. you may  have to go to the arhives department at the the Fresno County Archives. 

You can also go the Fresno County Police Department Records Division to find out if you have any local criminal history.  

You can also obtain a fingerprint background check by submitting a doj request for live scan services.  

You will be given instructions by the DOJ on how to fill out the form and exactly how to do a live scan fee waiver and instructions.

 

CLEARING YOUR RECORD

There are many different paths to post conviction relief if you have served your sentence and have no open and active cases then you  may be ready to clear your record under one of the various forms of post-conviction relief.  

expungement 

Felony reduction

DEJ for Immigrants

Proposition 47

Proposition 64

Certificate of Rehabilitation

You need to speak to an Attorney about the various forms of relief and what works best for you before proceeding.  Proceeding whithout first getting legal opinions from an experienced Attorney could have adverse affects on you so if you still have question give us a call at 559-441-1418.

 

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Fresno, CA 93704
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