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I have represented clients througout the state of Caifornia.  There are certain defenses which are common between across the counties including Madera County, Fresno County, and Tulare County, and Monterey County. 

Below is a description of the common legal defenses in the state of Calfornia. 

1)  Accidents

2)  Allibi

3) Coerced Confessions

4) Double Jeopardy

5) Duress

6) Entrapment

7) False Accusation / Wrongful Arrest

8)  Insanity

9)  Lack of probable.

10) Mistaken Identity

11) Misatake of Fact

12) Necessity

13) Parents right to discipline childrene

14) Police Misconduct

15) Self Defense/Defense of Others

16) Unconsciousness

17) Vonuntary/Involuntary Intoxication

1) Accidents

If you accidentally commit a crime without ciminal intent then the law does not hold you criminally liabe.  If however, you act in a reckless I don't care attitude the law does not protect you.

2) Alibi

In its most basic form this defense means you could not have committed the crime because you were somewhere else at the time the crime was committed.  We were able to prove this once in a defense which saved our client a term of life in prison.

3) Coerced confession

If the police overcame your free will in an attempt to get a confession.  Then the confession is thrown out as evidence.

example continued questioning after you ask for a lawyer

food water or sleep deprivation

beating you

4) Double Jeopardy

This defense means that under the constitution you cannot be prosecuted a second time for the same offense. 

5) Duress

This defense applies if you only committed a crime because of anothers persons threats toward you

6) Entarpment

You would not have committed the offense excpet due to the harrassment or the coercion of the police

7) False accusation/ wrongful arrest

people often accuse people of crimes they did not commit due to revenge jelousy or attempts to cover up ones own criminal conduct.

8) Insanity

If you could not understand the nature of your act or

could not distinguish rigth from wrong.

9) Lack or Probable Cause

The law requires police to have probable cause before they can detain or arrest you.  proabable cause essentially means that a reasonable and cautious officer would believe that criminal activity is occuring.  

10) Mistaken Identity

This is the leading cause of wrongful conviction. IE the real perpetrator of the offense and you get blamed. 

11) Mistake of Fact

If you act under a reasonable mistake of fact you are not guilty of a crime.

This does not mean that just simply stating that you did not know something was a against the law is not a defense. rather

if you are accused of stealing a  power drill from your neighbor but you reasonably belived that it was your power tool that could be a mistake.

12) Necessity

An example of this defense is that you are being chased by someone and you break into someone elses house when you reasonably believe you must do that to escape the person that is considered necessity.

13) Parents right to discipline a child

Parents have the right to discipline there children, as long as it is done in a reasonable manner.

14) Police Misconduct

Its not at all uncommon to see acts of misconduct, abuse, and excessive force by police this could be

planting evidence

lying or embellishing police reports

15) Self Defense/ Defense of Others

if you injure or kill someoen in the reasonable belief that you must use force your conduct could be excused.

16) Unconsciousness

If you are while you commit a crime California law excuses your actions

this includes acts while



epileptic seizure

involuntarily intoxicated

17) Voluntary or Involuntary Intoxication

Typically voluntary intoxication does not act as a defense to a crime.

However voluntary intoxication could serve as a defense that you could not have formed the specific intent to commit a crime.

involuntary intoxation occurs when someone else gave you the agent that makes you act. 








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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