Attempted Rape Not Guilty Verdict

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingAug 02, 2020

Preparing To Take The Rape Case to Trial. Several years ago, downtown Los Angeles was overloaded with cases.  I don't know whether it was just because there was a rash of crimes or whether they did not have an efficient system. I'm talking now about the main downtown courthouse — 210 West Temple.  I had a rape case down there under California Penal Code 261 PC. My client had indicated adamantly that he was not guilty. 

So, we decided to take the case to jury trial and do everything we could to get that not guilty verdict. So, we prepared for this severe sex crime case.  At this point, they would have you come to Department 100, which was the central hub court that would send all of the various cases out to the multiple courtrooms that were available the day you went into a trial.  This was a severe case.

We took a lot of time preparing it, and we ended up, strangely, getting sent to 111 North Hill.  What they had to do because it was getting so crazy, they ended up having to move all the cases that were available for trial where there was no room to try in the central downtown courthouse, they ended up having to put those cases at 111 North Hill.

So, we ended up doing an attempted rape trial in front of a civil judge and a non-criminal judge.  He was a tough character, not easy to deal with unreasonable, and made many bad rulings on the case. Attempted rape is defined under California Penal Code 664/261.

Fortunately, my client had a good defense.  He ended up having to testify in the case.  Often, you're not going to have your client testify, but I felt that the jury needed to hear from my client in this case. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will provide an overview below.

Defendant Testified Before Jury

They needed to hear his side of the story before they decided whether or not he was guilty or innocent of his charge, and I think his testimony made a good impression on the jury.

Attempted Rape Not Guilty Verdict in Los Angeles Court

I was able to present some strong arguments, even though I felt like the judge was entirely against my client and was trying to help the prosecutor in any way that he could, just making ridiculous rulings, trying to prevent defense evidence from coming in, while letting all of the prosecutor's evidence in.

But fortunately, our jury system is a good one.  I think the jury saw through that and ended up coming back with a not guilty verdict which was huge because he was looking at a lot of time for an attempted rape case in Los Angeles, and he had a bit of a criminal record. He didn't have any situations where he had committed any sex crimes, but because of his history, he was pretty much looking at 20 years in prison if he got convicted, which is challenging to go to trial on.

Often, people will buckle under because they realize the ramifications are horrible if they don't take the prosecutor's deal, but if someone truly is innocent. They don't feel like they did anything wrong — which was the case here — that person is not taking a deal, even if they get a worse resolution.

Fighting Criminal Charges in Los Angeles

Often, people feel like I can't make a deal on a case where I'm innocent, and I don't blame them.  I never encourage anybody to take a deal unless they feel they were guilty and they did something wrong.  Otherwise, we have to fight it.

But that doesn't mean the prosecutors aren't bearing down on a person; the charge is still severe.  That's why it's so crucial that if you're going to go trial and all of the marbles are on the line, somebody like me, who has been doing this for 26 years, has a lot of experience and can get the result you need. Hedding Law Firm is a top-ranked Los Angeles criminal defense law firm that offers a free case review at (213) 542-0940 or fills out our contact form.

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