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Domestic violence cases can have a huge impact on your rights.  Your right to own a firearm, vote, and even see your children can be affected by  a domestic violence conviction.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence offense you should immediately seek experienced representation.  As a former probation officer deputy district attorney with more than 14 years of experience, I can help you with your case.  give us a call at 559-4411418, this article is meant as a general information and is not meant to be legal  advice as to specific circumstances. 


If an arrest occurs for a domestic violence case many things happen at once and can be very confusing to someoen especially someone that has not been throught the stystem before. There is what is called the domestic violence protocals which mandate how domestic violence cases are handled statewide.  This means that if there is visible brusing or injury it is almost certain there will be an arrest.  This is because the police departments could be sued or lose funding if certain steps are not taken usually which inlcude an arrest.


A domestic violence restraining order will be issued.  Usually for a period do 5 days.  During this time it is important that you do not break this restraining order this includes contact through a third person. We will discuss bail below but just the contact can even through a third person can be a violation of this restraining order.  Also if charges are filed a criminal protective order will be issued and the family law court cannot make an order changing this restraining order.  I have actually seen Family Court Judges attempt to do this, they should not be doing this and is very confusing to all parties and a violation of statute.   The bottom line is that, the criminal restraining order takes precedent over everything else and should be obeyed regardless of what other advice you recieve.   If no charges are filed you should make sure there is not either an extension of the original order or a new and different restaining order out somewhere.  I have seen this occur several times.  Charges will be dismissed and the Arrested person thinks that there is no longer a restraining order outstaning against him only to find there is a civil restraining order, or family law order.  Sometimes while pending criminal charges a criminal defense attorney will advise you not to fight or to put off a hearing until the criminal case is over.  This does not mean that restraining order went away it will simply be dealt with after your criminal case.

If you are convicted of any Domestic Violence related offenses you will be given an up to 5 year restraining order.  It can be lifted at sometime in the future if you are doing what the court orders.  Many times the court will want to hear from teh protected party before lifting any restraining orders. 

As you can tell the process and the restraining order process for the different types of restraining order can be complex and confusing contact an Attorney right away. If you violate a restraining order in Domestic Violence case you will be and you are out of bail you could be jailed wihtout bail.  Do not make this mistake.


If you have been arrested for  a domestic violence misd. offense you will be given a ticket with a court date.  At this point you do not have to worry about bail.  however, other than the fact you have a less serious offense the rest of the case will be handles very similiarly to a Felony. 


If you have been arrested or a Felony you must bail out of jail or be released at your court appearnnce on either or or pre trial release.  The court will take into consideration your prior history, if any, and your danger to the community in setting bail amount.  Please read my blog on bail for more information on that. Again give us a call so we can give you a case evaluation.




Many times  I have clients come into my office that need help undertanding just what will happen now that they have been arrested for  a DUI.  Often people will call different law offices for advice.  Only to forget the advice the minute tney leave the office.  This article is not meant as legal advice and you need to hire an Attorney to go over the specifics of your specific case.  I have helped over a thousand clients over 14 years of work.  I do this job to help people get through what for most of them if some of the worst days of your life.  Give me a call if you have questions after reading this article.


First, as in some of my earlier aricles where I go over the specific things the officer is needs for an arrest this will be much more general.

First you will obvioulsy be pulled over the officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull you over.

Or you could be ensarned in one of the so called sobriety check points.



You will be given a ticket with a court date, and you will be given a temporary license.  That license is good for a 30 day period, or until the completion of your DMV hearing.

now the thing to remember here is that you should think of the process as two prongs the court process and the DMV process. 

You must make an appointment with the DMV within 10 days if you fail to do this you waive the right to a hearing. Even if you do not have an Attorney at this point make sure to at least schedule the hearing.



Your first court appearnce date will be written on the ticket.  On the front.   Again this is separate from the DMV process. 

Many people believe this first court appearnce is there trial.  it is actually an arraignment.  If you hire an Attorney you do not have to be personallly present for that hearing. Your Attorney can do what is called a 977 appearance.  If the District Attorneys office has filed charges then you will have those charges read and you will enter a plea, or your Attorney will enter the plea for you. 


You or your Attorney will schedule a pre-trial hearing to gather the police reports, cameras, body cameras, the calibration logs, for all instruments used in the stop and or arrest.  We will also gather call logs, and dispatch logs and begin to build our defense.   We look over all the paperwork and procedures used by the police to make sure they used the proper procedure.  The more mistakes the officers make the less sound there case is.  Many times juries in DUI cases will aquit if the officer made to many mistakes.

I have tried many Murder cases where the officers have made sometimes literally a hundred different errors, and the jurors are willing to look past this and convict becuase it is a murder trial.  It is not supposed to be that way but unfortunately it is. However, when an officer makes a lot of mistakes in a DUI case the jurors are much more likely to aquit.  This is just the truth.


If you decide to go to trial we will set the case for trial and proceed to trial.  Unlike your other appearances you must be present for the trial.  I could write several blog post on the trial process, having tried more 5 first degree murder trials and having both prosecuted and defended DUI cases; however, those will have to wait for a different blog. If you have questions call me at 559-441-1418.

Bail hearing, baling someone out of jail and so forth can be more complex than simply going down to a bail bondsman.  If you or a loved one has been arrested or a has a warrant out for your arrest you need to obtain legal advice from an Attorney as soon as possible.

I am an former probation officer deputy district attorney, and adjunct criminology professor.  I know the ins and outs of the system if you have questions please call. 



If you have a warrant out for your arrest you can bail out on that warrant.  You would have to obtain a bond for the amount listed on the charge.  For example if you have a warrant for battery you would pay the bail schedule for that charge and be given a court date for your arraignment.  You should keep your paperwork with you because a police officer may pull you over and believe that you  have an active warrant when you have actually bailed out ont the warrant.


The short answer to that question is unfortunately yes. because the District Attorneys office has the final say as to what charges are filed, the District Attorney's office could decide to file additional charges than the charges you were bailed out on.

For Example you bailed out on a battery charge but the District Attorneys office decides to file Attempted Murder Charges.  This would mean you would be responsible for a bond for the Attempted Murder charge.

Many times a bail bond company will work something out on the additional security needed for that bond.  However, you are responsible for the additional bond amount. 


Again the short answer to that question is yes. Many times we will argue to the court that the same amount of bond that was originally posted should stay in place although the charges have changed.


In decidiing if the court will keep the amount the same or increase the amount the court will consider two factors

1. Flight Risk is the person with the bond a risk to flee the jurisdiction. What are his ties to the community? how long have they lived in the community? do they have employment in the area.

2. Is the person a danger to society based upon the facts of the case, is the person a risk of danger to the community at large.  is there some allegation in the complaint that makes the person seem to be a risk to the community at large.  Such as gang membership, use of guns in the crime. It should be noted the facts in the complaint will be taken as true in making this determination. 


Many times unless the prosecution agrees there must be a noticed hearing to decrease bail.  It requires two days notice and written request for reduction.  this could sometimes give us time to prepare letters witnessess, pay stubs, etc, to have the bail reduced. I have sometimes had the mother of a client stand up and say she will perosnally watch over the person to make sure he abides by the terms of the bail.  The mother was so intimidating that the Judge agreed to the bail reduction on the spot.

These bail hearings can be used one time andd one time only unless there is a a substantial change in circumstances.  The good news is that often the Judge will take into consideration all factors such as vidoe of the incident etc. 

If you have any further questions give us a call 559-441-1418.

If you have been convicted of a petition in the Juvenile Court system changes in the law may be in your favor to have the mater not only expunged but to have the records destroyed.  This would have a huge impact on changing your life and enabling you to move on with your future. 

As a former Juvenile Probation officer, Deput District Attorney, Adjunct Criminology Instructor and A Criminal Defense Attorney that has been practicing in the Juvenile Courts for for more than a Decade.  I can certainly help you with your Juvenile matter.


There have been significant changes in the Welfare and Institutions Code that deal with sealing of Juvenile records.  Many of these changes indicate that if you were arrested and adjudicated in the Juvenile Court after one year your case will automatically be calendared for what is referred to as a Welfare and Instutitions Code section 786 hearing.  This means that if you have not violated your probation, or sometimes even if you have violated your probation, and you have not committed a Felony or a Misdameanor crime of moral turpitude, then you would get your records sealed.

This is more expansive than an expungement in adult court.  In adult court your record would only show the expungement update.  It would not contrary to what you may have heard destroy the records. Many people think and expungement destroys the record in adult court this is not accurate.

However, in Juvenile Court under the new law this would be accurate.  This is a huge distinction and differenene in the way the law was handles and how it is handled now.

This can help you get employment and just move on with your life.  Take advantage of this oppurtunity to get rid of the records of a past youthful indiscretion.


781 deals with Juveniles that were before the court, before the changes in the law came into affect.

the law states in pertinent part:

In any case in which a petition has been filed with a Juvenile Court to commence proceedings to adjudge you a ward of the court; in any case in which you were cited to appear before a probation officer or are taken before a probation officer, pursuant to 626, or in any case in which you were taken before any officer of a Law Enforcement agency, you or the County Probation officer may, five years or more after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has terminated as to your matter, or, in a case in which no petition has is filed, five years or more after you were cited to appear before a  probation officer pursuant to 626, or in any case at any time after you reach the age of 18 years, petition the court for sealing of the records including records of the arrest relating to your case records in the custody of juvenile courts or probation or law enforcement officicals, or any other agencies that you allege to have the records in your filings. 

As you can tell from the reading of this article this law is very expansive and good for former minors. All of the records in the hands of anyone that had anything to do with the former minors case have to be destroyed this is way more expensive than the law for adult expungement and helps the former minors much more in moving on with there lives.

there are some exceptiona dna caveats

Notwithstanding any other provisio of law, the court shall not order records sealed in any case in which you were found by the Juvenile Court to have committed an offense listed in subdivision(b) of Section 707  when you were 14 years of age or older.


Once the court has your records sealed, the proceedings in the case shall be deemed to never had occurred, and you may reply accordingly to any inquiry abou the events, to never have occurred, and you may properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, the records of which have been sealed as having never occurred.

This section does not allow for the sealing of records for offenses listed in section 707.1.


Thes proceedings may be different for different counties but they will be similiar to the ones listed below.

After reviewing the above information if you wish to petition the Court for a Sealing of your records do the following:

1. Appear at the Probation Office.

2. Request a complete sealing packet, which will be provided to you by probation staff. 

3. Pay a processing fee.

4. Haven and interview with the probation officer. 

5. At this meeting you will need to provide all necessary paperwork and documentation.

6. If your request for sealing is not being objected to by any responding agency, you will recieve documentation.

7. At the scheduled future hearing, you are expected to appear in person.  Failure to appear may result in a denial of your petition.   and all monies forfeited.

If you have been charged with certain crimes in the State of California your property may be seized and forfeitud under both the State of California Laws and the Federal Law.

This article deals with the State of California Law which is different from the Federal Law.  The Federal law of fofeiture is much more in the governments favor.  Many Attorneys think that all forfeiture is handed over to the Federal Government and the States only termporarily hold the seized assets.  This is not true. However, under the so called "equitable sharing" statutes the States can do an in run around the more stringent state laws even if the Federal Government has not taken the underlying case. For example you  will be tried in state court but the federal government handles part of the case for asset forfeiture purposes.   This is legal and does happen but not always. 

THE ITEMS SEIZED MUST be "directly traceable" to the illegality.  For example you are charged with a drug crime and there is unusual transaction in your bank account, or you drive an expensive vehicle and do not have source of income.  This may give the police probable cause to seize the assets and later do a forfeiture in State Court. 

Now this article is not meant to be legal advice as to your spefific case circumstances.  You should defenitely consult with an Attorney. Call our office I have represented many people under the same or similiar circumstances and can help you through this complex area of the law.

After seizing you property meaning taking your property in order to permantly take your property or have you forfeit the property you must be given notice of a hearing and an oppurtunity to show the legitimate source of the funds, or in the case of property that you obtained the property through legitimate means. 

The burden of proof is clear and convincing evidence not the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard. And to seize your property the government needs is a Warrant.


In order to forfeit some assets under the California Law such as boats planes etc. you need a conviction or a plea. This is of course after you are served with notice of intent to seize assets, and then you file a response. At this point to seize certain assets the prosecution must get a conviction through plea or trial.

It should be noted that the timelines in asset forfeiture cases are very stringent you recieve notice of the hearing and must respond with form MC -220 and give notice to the District Attorney if you do not do this you could have waived your rights to a hearing.

Also if the government has seized less then $25,0000.  then there must be a plea or conviction.  However, if the government has taken over $25,000.00 then it needs a conviction or to prove in a hearing by clear and convincing evidence that the money was directly traceable to illegal activity of the crime. 

The state law of California are again very much more stringent than the Federal Law.  Which favors the government much more. 

This article was not meant to be exhaustive.  This is a very complex area of the law.  consult with an Attorney.  We would be glad to help you. 


If you have been charged with certain crimes, and your assets have been siezed including your bank accounts you need to act very quickly.  As an experienced  Criminal Defense Attorney with more than 14 years of experience I know the ins and outs of the system. 


WHEN CAN BANK ACCOUNTS BE SEIZED?   I want to state at the outset that seizure and forfeiture are two different things that are often mixed up.  Seizure happens when the government takes control over your possession, including boats rv's cars money, bank accounts etc.  There is one set of proof standards for seizure and one set for forfeiture each with there own complexities.  Also you have Federal versus State laws and to make things even more confusing to people accused of crimes there is even what is referred to as equitable sharing.  Which means the prosecution can get around the more stringent State laws of California and give the forfeiture portions to the Federal Goverment even if the Federal Government has not taken the underlying case.  I will go into that further in my next blog post dealing with asset forfeiture more generally this blog deals with specifically bank accounts.

Bank accounts can be seized upon probable cause.  Usually there will be an affidavit and a warrant from a Law Enforcement official.

For Example a person is pulled over the officer is suspicious and calls a drug dog to the scene.  The dog hits on the trunk giving the officer probable cause.  The officer then pops the trunk and finds two pounds of meth.  Because this is such a large amount the officer calls in the Narcotic cops who believe that the person may be selling.  The police then get a warrant for the persons home and find bank records.  They get a warrant for the bank records signed by the Judge and seize the bank account because they believe there are drug profits going into the account I.E. large amounts of money being deposited. 

This account will often be subject to a Warrant and seized.  This is based upon the Probable Cause contained in the search and seizure Warrant.  Usually the Narcotics Officer will state he believes there is money luandering happening in the bank account based upon large amounts of cash being deposited. 

At this point your account is seized no money coming in or out of the account and it will stay that way until certain things happen.

In state court the prosecutor has one year to do a noticed asset forfeiture hearing.  There based upon clear and convincing evidence starndard the prosecutor must prove that the cash put into the account was from the proceeds of drug sales.  If the prosecution is only  alleging one instance of Sales and there is evidence presented that you had just sold property resulting in you obtaining a large amount of cash then you could get the money back.

But remember the prosecutor has one year to bring the noticed action.  Many times they will wait to see if there is a conviction through plea bargaining in the case.  If there is a conviction in the underlying case then it will be much more difficult to get the money back if not impossible.  This is beause a conviction on the underlying case means the govt can keep the money.

So you must try to get the money back in the pendency of the case.  This may be difficult because the prosecutor has time to bring the forfeiture action 1 year. 

Some Attorneys will tell you to file for an injunction in Civil Court to get the money back.  However, you should definitely consult with an experienced Attorney before taking this action because you must have your ducks in a row and make sure you can show a legitimate source of the money before undertaking this aciton.

Some Attorneys believe that all cases will go to the Federal Government under Equitabe Sharing and that the State seizure of the money is only temporary because the state will give over all forfeiture cases to the Federal Government.  This is not true and many cases stay with the State Courts. 

Nothiing in this blog is meant to be Legal Advice as to your Specific Case you should defenitely consult with an experienced Attorney about the specifics of your case before taking action 559-441-1418.


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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Phone: 559.441.1418