A number of years ago, downtown Los Angeles was pretty much overloaded with cases. I don’t know whether it was just because there was a rash of crime or whether they just 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. My client had indicated adamantly that he was not guilty. So, we decided that we were going to take the case to jury trial and do everything we can to get that not guilty verdict.
Preparing To Take the Rape Case to Trial
So, we prepared for this serious sex crime case. At the case, they would have you come to Department 100 which was basically the main hub court that would send all of the various cases out to the various courtrooms that were available the day you went into a trial. This was a serious 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 main 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 pretty much, a civil judge, a non-criminal judge. He was a real tough character, not easy to deal with unreasonable, made a bunch of bad rulings on the case. Attempted rape is defined under California Penal Code 664/261.
Fortunately, my client really had a good defense. He ended up having to testify in the case. A lot of times you’re not gong to have your client testify, but in this case, I really felt that the jury needed to hear from my client.
Defendant Testified Before Jury
They needed to hear his side of the story before they made a decision on whether or not he was guilty or innocent of his charge and I think his testimony really made a good impression on the jury.
I was able to present some strong arguments, even though I really felt like the judge was completely 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 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 done any sex crimes, but because of his record, he was pretty much looking at 20 years in prison if he got convicted, and that’s real difficult to go to trial on.
A lot of times 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 and they don’t feel like they did anything wrong — which was the case here — that person is not taking a deal, even if they end up getting a worse resolution.
Fighting Criminal Charges in Los Angeles
A lot of times people feel like, I can’t take 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 still doesn’t mean that the prosecutors aren’t bearing down on a person, the charge is still very serious. That’s why it’s so important that if you’re going to go trial and all of the marbles are on the line, to have 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 criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.
Categorised in: Sex Crimes