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In this article I will go over the basics of the law of probation not meant to be legal advice, your case is particular to you if you have questions after reading this blog give me a call at 559 441-1418.  

If you are place on probation there are one of several penalties you can recieve for either a Felony or Misdemeanor matter. 

The Court will suspend imposition of sentence for a conviction.



For Felony cases an imposition of a sentence wil be suspended and you will be given probation for a period of time most the time now it is for a period of two years Felony probation.

Probation allows you to stay in your home and complete certain terms and conditions of probation such as paying fines, anger management, not getting into any more trouble etc.  


For Felony 'formal probation' you must see a probation officer and check in there are some misdemenaors that require formal probation unless the court allows for informal.

Even if you are on informal probation you must adhere to your terms and conditions of probation.  



If a person violates there probation your probation could be revocked, modified, or completely terminated.  


If the court terminates the probation then he must serve a jail sentence.  If the terms are modified the probation may be extended, kepp the present date and add other terms, or a combination along with local jail time without the probationer having to go to prison if a Felony case for a term.  


that depends on how serious the violation is and wether there have been other violations of probation, or wether the person has complied with other terms and conditions of probation before the current violation of probation and wether there are current other law violations along with the violation of probation.   


if you are found to be in violation of Midemeanor probation the court can sentence you to local county jail for a period as punishment or add other terms or make the probationer come to court to check on there status. 


A Probation Officer does not need a warrant to search your home or car if you are subject to search and seizure terms and can arrest you without a warrant for violations even violations amounting to hearsay.  As long as thre hearsay is considered to be reliable the court can rely on that information and base a violationo probation on that information.  



Yes you are entitled to a vop hearing to ascertain if there  is evidence by a preponderance of evidence that you violated your probation.  meaning more probably then not. This is not the same level of proof needed for a law violation.  And you do not have a right to a hearing by trial.  The Judge will make a determination if  you violated your probation and then there will be sentence imposed.  


Many times when a probation officer violates someones probation they will make a recommendation to the court where if the probationer admits to the violation they will ask the court for a certain sentence. Then if the court ok's this sentence, that is the sentence imposed.  

This occurs many times especially for minor or first time violations, however, this is not guaranteed and the person on probation wether misdo or felony should never violate there probation, the penaltes are always severe and many times involve going to jail  

many times people think it was a minor violation and the Judge disagrees. If you are accused of a violation of probation call 559 441-1418. 









The laws regarding sex registration have been changed recently and a new tier system will be in place.  In the past if you were convicted of any sex offense you would be required to register for life.  However, under new legislation in California the period is now tiered.  If you have any questions after readifng this article give us a call and we can help you with your situation. 


Below I will  go through the new tiered system briefly and explain when certain offender would be eligible to be taken off  the registration list. 


1. Tier one is for people convicted of the lowest level of sex offenders, such as Misdemeanor sexual battery, or indecent exposure.  A person that is on tier one will have to register as a sex offender for a period of at least ten years.  If convicted in Juvenile court the mandatory period is five years.  

2. Tier Two

This tier is for people convicted of mid-level sex offenses including lewdness with a minor under 14 and non-forced sodomy with a minor under the age of 14.  A person ordered to register under this tier will have to register for a period of at least twenty years.  If convicted in Juvenile Court then he will have to register for a period of ten years.  

3. Tier 3

This tier is for people convicted of the most serious sex crimes and requires a lifetime registration.  These offenses include Rape (in most cases) lewdness with a minor by force.  sex trafficking, sex crimes against children 10 years of younger.  

When the time period for a persons registration is up it does not mean that he automatically stops having to register.  The person must go through a petition process through the court, and a Judge will make a determination of the persons being taken off the sex registration requirement.  

The person must file a petition then the person must wait for a period of 60 days and the state will have the oppurtunity to review and to file and objection or response to the petition.  


For tier one or two the period of time begins to run when the person is released from incarceration or placement.  This includes all civil committments for the offense.  

For each time that the person fails to register under a  Misdemeanor the person could be extendes for a period of 1 year.  If the person was convicted of a Felony and fails to register the time period is extended by a period of three years.  

After these periods are completed get an Attorney and file a petition.  The court will give you a court date and you will be assigned a court room.  Make sure to do this in the County in which you reside and are registering.  At that time the court will have a hearing and give you and the prosecution an oppurtunity to be heard regarding the registration requirements.  

Nothing in this article is meant to be legal advicie and of course every case is different and this is meant for inormaiton purposes.  

If after reading this article you have questions give us a call at 559 441-1418. We can set up an evaluation of your case and determine if you qualify and how you should go about getting a hearing to go over your case.  

Although the law has changed it is still complicated and you should seek legal advice before attempting to go through this process on your own.  Because you may have had a better result with the help of an Attorney to get you through the difficult legal process.





If you or a loved on has questions regarding how to safely store a firearm and stay whithin the bounds of the law.  This article will answer some of your questions for you.  As an Attorney with almost two decades of experience I can help you if you have questions or problems with local gun laws.  The gun laws are now very difficult even for Attorneys or Firearms experts to follow.  So this is an area of law that you may have questions about give us a call 559 441-1418. 




Attorney General opinions are not law rather they give legal opinions to local law enforcement as to how they should handle certain legal positions.



The California Attorney Generals position on storage of a firearm, is that the safest way to store a gun is with a state- approved firearm safety device and keeping the gun in a locked container.  And store the gun unloaded and ammunition in a different locations.  



California gun laws further require gun owners to store the gun unloaded and in an area that is both not accesible to children or people that are prohibited from owning or possesion guns within the state of california. 

violation of this statute is a Misdemeanor in the state of California and can result in a year in county jail and the penalties can be more severe if the gun causes injury or death.  




1. Unlocked 

2. locked in the trunk of the car or in a locked container within a vehicle

3. apparent and not concealed within the vehicle


If you have children within your house you must follow other guidelines.  Mostly it is out of control of the minor meaning it is in a locked container and in an area the child does not have access to the gun and the container is locked with a some kind of locking device, meaning a combination lock or a key lock.  One of the ways in whick law enforcement comes into contact with individuals violating these laws is if they are called to the home for a legitimate reason such as a domestic violence call.  Officers are usually able to enter a home without the permission of the owner of the home for a brief period to make a check on the welfare of individuals within the home.  At that time the officers often come into contact with firearms that are not properly stored.  At that tme they can make an arrest based upon what is in plain sight while they are in the home.  

You can also be pulled over during a traffic stop and some people may have a firearm in the vehicle that is not properly stored or is fully loaded.  Sometimes people are on there way to the gun range and do not properly store there gun when travelling to and from the gun range this could lead to a Misdemeanor charge and local county jail time.  Some people get in hurry and do not pay attention to the detail of the law.  

Nothing in this article is meant as legal advice any legal problem is individual and should be spoken with an Attorney as soon as possible.  Every case is different and as stated above the gun laws in the state of california are very confusing and can lead to you not knowing exactly what your legal rights are if you have question give us a call at 559 441-1418. 




If you or a loved one is in need of legal services give our office a call, we can assist you as an Attorney with more than 19 years of experience and having gained full acquitals in three different counties, and having more than 50 Jury trial I can help you get through this. 

In this article I will be discussing changes to the law and so called "youthful offender" law California Penal Code 3051, which I will go over who is eligible who is not and how the law works.



Someone who committed a crime before there 26th birthday and is given a de-facto life sentence.  Such as 50 to life. 

in the above example if somoene is given a life term of 50 to life because the offense is longer than 25 to life then the person would be eligible for parole after serving 25 years in prison.  It would have to be a meaningful shot at parole and not just a hearing.  This means that a Franklin hearing would occur, which I will go over in a different blog.  At that Franklin hearing there would be the chance to go forward with a meaningful evidence of mitigation regarding the individual a so called time machine so that the information will not be lost to time.


If you reciveved a sentence of less than 25 years to life than you will be eligible for Parole the first time at the point of 20 years and given a meaningful oppurunity at Parole.  


If you are given a determinate sentence which means a specific date rather than, for example, 15 to life.  than you are given a determinate sentence.  for example 50 years in prison rather than 50 to life.  If you are given that sentence than you are given your first shot at parole after 15 years.  


Any person that has  strike offense is not eligible for youthful offender status.  If you have  prior strike and then get a indeterminate term even if the term is very lengthy and you would otherwise be eligible you would be found to be ineligible.  

if you recived a life in prison without the possibility of parole after you turn 18 then you are not eligible even though you are under the age of 26 when the offense occured.  If you are under  the age of 18 when the offense occurred which makes you eligible for youthful offender status.  

This can be very confusing part of the law and you need experienced counsel to lead you through this.  If you need an Attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system then you should give us a call and we can help you.  

If you or a loved one is being faced with a lengthy sentence is under the age of 26 when the offense occurred  there is hope that even if given a lenghty sentence after trial that they could with good behavior and a parole hearing one day be released from Prison.  This could even figure into the settlement negotiations.  And if your Attorney is not an experienced Homcide Attorney they may not know the ins and outs of that law and how to use it to your advantage in bringing about a settlement to your case.  If you have questions after reading this article give us a call 559 441-1418 nothing in this article is meant to be legal advice and every situation is different and you should get legal advice immediately, due to the complexity of this part of the legal system.  If your loved one is incarcerated have someone start making call right away on his behalf. 



If you or a loved one has questions or concerns about Marijuana Laws and the changes that have taken place with these laws dont hesitate to give us a a call at 559 441-1418.  As an Attorney with almost twenty years of experience and having handled over one thousand cases in Fresno County alone I have the experience to get you through this.  


There have been many changes to Marijuana laws in Calfornia over the past few years, with major legislation aimed at lessining the penalties for Marijuana possession.  Below I will outline the changes to the law, how the new laws affect minors and what to do if you are given a ticket for Marijuana.  


One thing I want to deal with up front is that although the penalties have been lessened for possesion you cannot legally sell Marijuana and you cannot legally smoke while driving or even have your Marijuana in a vehicle without it being in a properly sealed baggie or container.  If you are smoking while driving or have the Marijuana unsecured you can be arrested or ticketed and have your car searched.  


11357 is the statute dealing with Marijuan Possession

Marijuana under this statute is still illegal to possess, however the law makes an exception if the amount is less than an ounce for a person over the age of 21.  The law allows for one 28.5 grams of Marijuana or concentrated (hassish) 

Possesing more than this amount or on k -12 school ground or possession while under the age of 21 are all prohiblted.  


Minors under the age of eighteen who are in violation of this statute will be given an infraction ticket and made to attend a drug awareness class before the case can be dismissed. This will save the minor from having a criminal record for possesion of Marijuana and give them an oppurtunity to clear there record.  Without long term consequences to there lives.  

persons between the age of 18-21 will be given an infraction.  For a first offense for being in violation of the law.  


In short you must be 21 years of age and have less than an ounce of Marijuana or concentrated cannibas.  If you are younger than 21 you cannot posses Marijuana however, if caught you would be liable only for an Infraction offense.  


Search and Seizure law

There have been cases and Judges looking mostly into how this affects searches of vehicles.  You are not allowed to smoke Marijuana while driving and if you are smoking while driving you are subject to arrest if you were impaired and your vehicle could be searched as part of that arrest if the arrest occurs.  However just having weed in your vehicle may not be enough if it is in a small amount and not being smoked and properly stored then it is not illegal to posses and therefore, should not lead to a search of your vehicle.

I have seen some cases coming down where the person was smoking or posssesing small amounts of Marijuana on school grounds say you are a teacher you cannot keep a small amount of Marijuana in your purse of locker or briefcase, this is illegal if you are at a school that teaches k-12.  I would not suggest even posssesing at your childrens school events or when you have children in the vehicle many times when pulled over the officer can smell the Marijuana and will investigate further and if you have children in the vehicle it could end up in a bigger problem.  Again nothing  I say in a blog post is meant to be legal advice and you should seek legal advice as to specific progblems.  






This article will deal with some of the changes to the law brought about by prop 57.  This article will deal with the subject broadly and is not meant as legal advice if you have any questions after reading this article give us a call at 559 441-1418. 



       Under the terms of prop 57 the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must allow defendants convictied of certain non-violent offenses to be considered for parole upon completion of the primary offense without the enhancement portions of their offense.   No longer do offenders have to serve there enhanced portion of there sentence.  

Also, prop 57 changed the way someoene would have to serve there sentence.  And the time credits allowed for a speicific crime.  The department of Corrections has the descretion  to move up the parole date on someone by granting them more time credits.  The way the law stood before the department was limited in the way they could reward tim credits and good time work time. 


Prop 57 effectively repealed Prop 21, which allowed for the direct-file of of juvenile offenders in teh adult criminal justic system.    Under prop 57 the Judge retains the sole discretion as to whether a juvenile will be kept in the Juvenile Justice system or in the adult system.  Under the old law prop 21 that was a decision made by the District Attorneys.  

Most ot the  sweeping changes of prop 57 deal with the incarceration of violent offenders but the difference if with the juvenile justice system.  Now a minor must be over the age of 16 to be given what is referred to as a transfer hearing.  A Transfer hearing is the hearing where the Judge decides whether the minor will be treated at the Juvenile level or he or she will be transferred to the adult  court system.  In addition, there is no longer a presumption that if the minor committed or is alleged to have committed certain offenses he was presumbed to be ineligible for juvenile treatment and the burden switched to defense to prove that he was treateble at the juvenile level.  This has now changed and is no longer the law.  Now there is no presumption and the Judge makes a determination based upon the preponderance of evidence shown in a transfer hearing. 


Many Attorneys feel it is very limited what they are allowed to show at that hearing.  This is actually not true. 

An Attorney now under prop 57 can argue among other things the sophistication or lack of sophistication of the minor and the ability to rehabiliitate the minor at the Juvenil level.  This gives the Attorney broad latittude to argue the facts in the underlying case that show lack of sophisticiation and that the minor can be rehabilitated in the juvenile system.  

As you can see prop 57 is a broad law with sweeping changes to many different parts of the law including non-violent offenders and Juveniles and transfer hearings as well as the way in which custidy credits are counted at the incarceration level.  If after reading this artice you still have questions feel free to give us a call. As an Attorney with more than 18 years of experience handling all levels of cases I have the know how to help you with your case.  Give us a call at 559 441-1418. And we can help you with your case by giving you a free case evaluation and see what we can do to help you get through this part of your life, or the life of a loved one who is facing charges in California.  



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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Phone: 559.441.1418