Criminal law is a big component of our practice. We try to establish your innocence in the eyes of the law. Or at least we strive to show that the government has not proved you guilty. If, after all our efforts, that cannot be done, we energetically endeavor to make sure you are treated fairly, with the least punishment and the lowest charges possible.
We have wide experience in criminal law practice, spread over decades. Both Peter Schlueter and Jon Schlueter spent years as government prosecutors, handling misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony cases. Peter Schlueter was designated a special Three-Strike and Career Criminal prosecutor as well as an undercover narcotics prosecuting attorney.
Between them, Peter Schlueter and Jon Schlueter have tried over 100 criminal jury trials. Beyond that, they have conducted 1,000s of hearings at the trial-court level, and argued before the California Supreme Court and intermediate appellecourts.
The jury trials that we have conducted have ranged from murder to disturbing the peace, and everything in between. (Peter Schlueter just litigated a first degree murder case in Los Angeles and obtained a verdict of Not Guilty. (People v Reed.))
Also, we regularly attend seminars to refine our criminal-law skills and knowledge. These seminars update our techniques and keep us abreast of recent trends in the law.
2. Law and motion.
More than most criminal lawyers, we engage in extensive law and motion practice. This means that, when appropriate, we file motions in court to protect our client’s rights and to obtain a fair outcome to the case. These motions vary widely in their purpose. Here are some examples of the kinds of motions we pursue in court.
Motions to suppress evidence
Some motion are filed to suppress evidence. That is, when the police violate your constitutional rights, sometimes a judge will throw out wrongfully-obtained evidence after a hearing at which the officer and sometimes other witnesses testify. We have had dramatic success in bringing such motions. And if the government’s evidence is thrown out, they may have nothing left with which to prove their case against you.
We also aggressively file what are called Pitchess motions. These are motions to persuade the judge to order the police department to disclose the contents of a police officer’s personnel file. All kinds of useful information might repose in police personnel files. There might have been complaints that the officer has in the past used excessive force to brutalize suspects and civilians. There might have been complaints that the officer lied or wrote false police reports in the past. Such information has obvious usefulness to a criminal defense.
But such nuggets are not obtainable unless an attorney knows how to write a good Pitchess motion. And we do. In fact, one city attorney resisting our Pitchess motions marveled at our success. Many or most attorneys in criminal practice don’t know how to get information from a Pitchess motion.
We also file 995 motions, which are motions in felony cases to get the charges thrown out. And even when we don’t win these motions outright, they may serve another valuable purpose: they educate the judge as to the law. This can be a boon during trial or in judge-directed settlement negotiations.
Computerized legal research
We are expert in computerized legal research. This research helps us find appellate opinions that help our clients and even liberate them. For example, in one case, computerized legal research produced appellate opinions that we cited in a trial brief that moved a prosecutor to entirely dismiss a case against our client. In another case, the opinions we found led to a judge to agree to make the state pay for our trial experts – saving our client’s family tens of thousands of dollars!
We have filed 1,000s of briefs and memorandums of law in trial courts and in courts of appeal in criminal cases.
Iconic criminal-defense lawyer F. Lee Baily once famously said that investigation is the backbone of a good criminal defense. We have a full-time investigator on staff to uncover facts to make sure we are prepared to take on the government’s accusations. Our investigator is smart and experienced. Sometimes he makes the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful defense. We rely on him heavily, to our client’s great benefit.
4. We are known to judges and prosecutors.
In the Inland Empire, we are widely known among judges and prosecutors. They know we are smart, tough, and tenacious. And where we are not knows, we soon prove ourselves to be tough, smart, and tenacious.
5. Call us.
So if you are facing criminal charges, or even if you believe you are under suspicion, call us. Our number is (909) 381-4888.