Sabraw's mother was born in Japan. His father was in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War when his parents met in 1954. Sabraw was born in San Rafael, California in 1958, and received an A.A. from American River Junior College in 1978, a B.S. from San Diego State University in 1980, and a J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1985.