San Bernardino Criminal Civil Rights Lawyer

San Bernardino Lawyer

SAN BERNARDINO San Bernardino Criminal Defense and Civil Rights AttorneyCRIMINAL DEFENSE and FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY

We are Peter and Jon Schlueter, we are lawyers, and what happens to you matters to us.

Our Firm

Jon Schlueter and Peter Schlueter have helped clients in Southern California, and in particular the Inland Empire, since 1995. We emphasize criminal defense, civil rights cases, and clearing criminal records (expungments, certificates of rehabilitation, and pardons). We have represented our clients before juries throughout Southern California. We have won in the California Supreme Court.

Costs: We offer free consultations.
Criminal cases are usually done for a flat fee. The fee depends on the crime, it’s complexity, and its severity.
Civil Rights cases are taken on a modified contingency-fee basis.  If we don’t win you money, we don’t take a fee.

About our lawyers

Both Peter and Jon Schlueter, brothers, former Deputy District Attorneys.  As experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys, they know both sides of the criminal litigation fence.  The Schlueters have practiced criminal law for a combined 50 years.  Jon Schlueter graduated from UCLA Law School in 1982.  Peter Schlueter graduated with honors from Western State University College of Law in 1991.

Representation:

            Criminal Defense:

We handle all criminal defense matters, as well as civil rights cases in the Inland Empire. This includes San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, Fontana, Rialto, Redlands, Rancho Cucamonga, Colton, Banning, Highland, and other cities.

            The Criminal matters we fight range from simple traffic tickets to first-degree murder.  We fight drug cases, three-strike cases, spousal-abuse cases, theft cases, and assault cases. We defend Vehicle Code cases such as DUIs, reckless driving, and driving-with-suspended-license cases.

            Criminal Courts: We regularly appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court - Central District; San Bernardino County Superior Court - Fontana District;  San Bernardino County Superior Court - Rancho Cucamonga District;  San Bernardino County Superior Court - Desert / Victorville District; San Bernardino County Superior Court - Chino District; as well as Riverside County Superior Court - Central District; Riverside County Superior Court - Indio District; and Riverside County Superior Court - Banning District.

           
Post-sentencing representation: We get criminal convictions expunged,  three strike sentences reduced, and life-sentence prisoners paroled.

            Federal and State Civil Rights Violations by Cops

Civil rights matters include false arrest, excessive force, failure to protect prisoners, and other police-abuse matters.

Trial success stories:
Prosecutors can be over-zealous; they can draw wrong conclusions from too-little evidence. They can take the wrong side or simply fail to fact-check their case. Too often a prosecutor or cop will believe the first person who complains of a crime, and then fail to investigate. It should have surprised us all when DNA evidence came into being and proved that so many innocent men sat on death row. But it didn’t. 

Making sure that the system treats you fairly, and that your story is heard, is our job. Sometimes justice takes a jury trial.

The following are examples only. Each case is different, of course; no-one can guarantee a result.

First Degree Murder; Compton, CA: Not Guilty
Case: TA103480
Our client faced first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing his brother. The prosecutor tried to prove that our client drove his car over his brother to kill him. An off-duty security guard testified that our client followed his brother onto the sidewalk with his car and then sped over him, left the scene, and then came back a few minutes later to check the body and leave again.   We proved that the witness was not wearing her glasses, and that she lied about where she stood when she supposedly saw the murder. We did this by scrutiny of nearby gasoline station surveillance videos. We got the Superior Court to pay for several experts, who proved highly helpful in crash analysis. The jury found the client not guilty..

Vehicle Manslaughter; Riverside, CA: Not Guilty
Case: RIF108452
Our client was accused of drunkenly killing his passenger in a vehicle accident, a felony.  The police theorized that he drank too much, missed an off-ramp, lost control, launched his car off a hillside, and crashed. The crash ejected his passenger, who died. We hired expert witnesses who analyzed skid marks to prove that the crash was caused by a second car that fled. Another expert showed that our client was not legally intoxicated at the time he drove. The jury found him not guilty. Now, he’s married and just had his first child..

Workers Compensation Fraud (13 Counts): San Bernardino: Not Guilty all counts
Case: FSB030129
Our client was accused of 13 counts of workers-compensation fraud.  The prosecution alleged that he failed to inform the workers-compensation carrier of two prior workers-compensation claims and a traffic accident. During Peter Schlueter’s cross-examination, the workers-compensation carrier representative admitted that the carrier had a motive to complain of fraud – if the client were convicted, then the carrier would then not have to pay for the otherwise valid claim for the worker’s injury.  We proved to the jury’s satisfaction that the prior workers-compensation claims and the accident were minor and old, and they had been fully resolved, so the client had just forgotten them. We showed the jury that our client was distracted and forgot his prior incidents because of the current injuries that he suffered when he fell into a vat of acid. As it was, the prior injuries did not affect the resolution of the recent workers-compensation claim. The jury found our client not guilty.

 

Resisting Arrest by threat-of-force-or-violence, trespass;
Not Guilty of trespass, dismissal of resisting arrest.
Case: MWV104208
Our client was on a “date night” with his girlfriend.  They were denied entry to a comedy club because it was sold out, and club security asked them to leave.  Police accused our client of trespass, threatening officers, and resisting arrest.  We showed the jury that the police used excessive force and were over-zealous, and that they repeatedly hit, kicked, and Tased our client. The jury found him not guilty of the trespass, and all other charges were dismissed.  Subsequent Civil Rights litigation: After the criminal case was over, we successfully pursued a civil-rights claim for false arrest and excessive force against the officers; the city paid $200,000.

Three Strikes, Possession of ammunition (life-in-prison case);
Morongo Basin: Not Guilty.
Case: FSB055004
Our client was facing life-in-prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition. We proved to the jury that the ammunition in our client’s home did not belong to him, and he did not know about it. The jury took twelve minutes to decide that the client was not guilty.  He has subsequently married and now has two children; he has a good union job.  We later had one of his strikes expunged by the court.

 

Arson and Felony Child Abuse; San Bernardino: Not Guilty
Case: FSB053576
Our client was accused of trying to burn down his girlfriend’s home.  The prosecution alleged that he sprayed a gallon of gasoline on the kitchen floor and lit it.  We disproved this assertion using a fire-investigation expert and common sense, which showed that less than an ounce of gasoline was spilled. We also showed that someone else lit the gasoline. The jury found him not guilty.

Battery, Riverside CA: Not Guilty
            Case: (unavailable)
A 6-foot, 200-pound, 26-year-old woman supposedly pushed a 52-year-old, 100-pound woman into a plate-glass window during an at-work altercation.  We focused the jury on our client’s lack of alternatives to fend off an offensive attack, which included spitting, by the alleged victim. The jury found our client not guilty.

 

Spousal Battery, Inglewood, CA: Not Guilty
Case: IC34807
The prosecution argued that this case was a run-of-the-mill spousal battery.  We proved that the wife had a pattern of being the aggressor and, in this case, that she repeatedly hit and tried to hurt her husband. We also showed that the bruises on our client’s arm were formed through his use of self-defense to protect himself and  not an assault. The jury found our client not guilty. 

First Civil Rights case 1999:
Case: 315 F.3d 1081
Our first civil rights case began by representing a young man accused of being a serial rapist in Long Beach.  After vigorous defense investigations that shed doubt on virtually single piece of evidence the matter was dismissed in the interest of justice.  We then sued the police officers who arrested him, and we proved that they hid evidence that showed that our client was innocent. A jury awarded the client $1.7 million for the officers’ violation of our client’s civil rights. Eventually the real rapist was found and arrested. DNA later proved conclusively that our client was not the rapist, and it showed the real rapist’s guilt.  In the end, the real rapist looked nothing like our client, even though three women swore that our client had attacked them. They were simply mistaken.  The lineups used to prove these identifications were proved to be fatally flawed and a product of police over-reaching. This matter was featured on 60 Minutes II.