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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. 


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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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