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Many times when people come into contact with the criminal justice system they are confused and unsure how and what is going on.   That is one reason to call and retain the law office of Gerald Schwab.  As a former Probation Officer and Deputy District Attorney with nearly 14 years of experience I know the ins and outs of the sytem.  Check out my 10.0 rating from AVVO or my National Trial Lawyers Top 100. or my reviews from Google.

I represent people not cases and can help you through your case as a person not a case.


Here I will explain in a brief way what you can expect from the various stages of the legal system.



First you will have to Bailed out of Jail the amount you will have to pay the bail bondsman depends on the nature of the charges.  Usually you must pay 10 percent down. 

You can ask for a bail reduction if your bail is high.  However it must be in writing with two days of notice and you only get one shot at a Bail Reduction absent a substantial change in circumstances. 


I have had many clients that believe the first court date is when everything will happen including a trial. That is not the case.  The first court date you will have is called and Arraignment.  You will be appraised of the charges. enter into a time waiver and given discovery if the District Attorney has already given the discovery over.  Depending on the type of time waiver you enter a new court date will be calendared.  A time waiver can be complicated but basically it means that you have right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of Arraignment.  If the court cannot hear the case within that time period then it must hear no later than 60 days. 

If you waive the 10 day but not the 60 days that means you must have a preliminary hearing within 60 days of your arraignment, if your preliminary hearing is not heard within that time period then you must be released. Many times the District Attorney will dismiss the case and refile the case if they can’t for some reason have the preliminary hearing completed by the time out date. 

Also, the District Attorney if they are not ready within the time period has the option of going to a Grand Jury to hear the case and that Grand Jury takes the place of the Prelimiinary Hearing.



This is a date usually set aside for attempts to do two things.

1. Attempt to settle the case during negotiations with the Prosecution

2. Make sure all discover is turned over to the defense.  Many times the District Attorney will bring the discovery to court.  Discovery is the police reports, mvers, call logs, and dispatch logs and other evidentiary items that must be turned over to the defense. 



A preliminary hearing is where there will be what some call a mini trial although it is usually very much different from a trial in almost all aspects.  A preliminary hearing is a hearing to determine if the is probable cause to hold the defendant over for trial.

the burden of Proof is different Reasonable Grounds to believe a Crime has been committed and Reasoanble Probability that this defendant was the person that committed the crime.  This burden is much less than the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard that is applied for a criminal trial.  And the prosecution does not have to bring any witnesses they can rely on the police reports to get them past the burden of proof.

That is a basic overview of the criminal justice process, I will go over in another post the process after a preliminary hearing.  If you have any questions call us at 559-441-1418.   

Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418