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As a former probation officer deputy district attorney, and and criminal defense attorney for more than 14 years  I have the knowlege and expertise to help you through your case. 

In criminal cases what you plead to is just as important as to whether or not you take a plea deal.

For example in a recent case we had a young lady was charged with resisting arrest 148 As a Misdemanor. 

This charge consists of three elements

1. Defendant willfully resisted, delayed or obstructed a peace officer or emegency technician.

2. At the time of offense, peace officer, public officer or emt was in engaged or attempted to engage in the performance of there duties. 

3. Defendant who willfully resisted delayed or  obstructed knew or should have reasonably known that a. victim was a peace officerr, b. victim was engaged in iin the performanceo there duites as public officer.


As you can tell a conviction for this offense for a young lady like our client would be devasting to her future. She was a promising student with a bright future, no trouble in her past and doing well in life. She unfortunately had to much to drink and for brief time ran from the police and was easily caught.

because she did not hurt the officer we were able to work certain things out.


The prosecutor and the prosecutor alone decides what charges to file in a criminal case.  Not even a Judge can tell a prosecutor what to charge. That means the district attorneys office has sole discretion on how to charge a case and what the charges will be.  However, a defense attorney can negotiate as to what those charges will be.


Going back to our earlier hypothetical with our girl above,

We negotiated to get the charge changed to disturbing the peace under penal code section 415.  This was a charge that looks way better to her future than fighting with the police or resisting arrest.

second once the district attorney has decided the case is a 415 he will be more likely to offer an infraction because there is an infraction offense to a 415 there is not an infraction offense to a 148.  This is key an infraction is the equivelant of a traffic ticket, I.E. less than a misdemeanor. 


Under penal code section 19.8 A person charged with certain misdemeanors may request the Judge without the persmission of the district attorney to reclassify the charge to an infraction. So in our case above based upon the facts of the case the Judge could reduce all the way down to an infraction.  There are other crimes where this could occur.

1. Petty Theft less than $50.00

2. Tresspass P.C. 555 602N

3. Failure to appear 853.7

4. Driving wihtout a license 12500

5. Engaging in an exhibition of speed

6. Driving on a suspended license usually if you obtain a license the court will reduce to an infraction.

7. Underage drinking business and professions code 25658b 25658.5

There are several other crimes that are listed in the penal code section.  They are less common crimes such as gambling

The reduction can be significant on a background investigation, and for other reasons including you cannot go to jail for a violation of an infraction offense. 

If you have been charged with any misdemeanor you should contact an attorney right away to find out what your rights are and if you can reduce to an infraction under this penal code section.   

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