District Attorney's Prosecute Felony Cases
I have been dealing with the prosecutors in the Los Angeles court system for the past twenty-five years, so I have a pretty good feel for the temperament and tendencies of the various prosecutors who staff the system.
When you walk into the court and go down the hall, the first courtroom on the left is Department S. The District Attorney's office staffs this courtroom district. They handle all the felonies that come through the courthouse, and the City Attorneys are not really in that courtroom because they don't prosecute felony cases.
If you continue down the hallway on the first floor of the San Fernando courthouse, the next courtroom on the left is The City Attorney's office staffs department M. That courtroom. They usually have at least two Deputy City Attorneys in there, handling cases, dealing with attorneys and arguing motions, and discussing whether people should be able to be bailed out or not.
City Attorney's Prosecute Misdemeanor Cases
Once a defendant enters a not guilty plea in a case, it will then be moved from Department M as far as the City Attorneys go, into one of the departments upstairs – either Department A or B. These are the trial courts for the City Attorney's office and the City Attorneys are typically going to prosecuting misdemeanors in the San Fernando courthouse.
I am all over the county, but San Fernando is one of the courts I am in all the time, and I think the City Attorney's office in San Fernando is very reasonable and easy to deal with. I have had a lot of success over the years in handling cases in that particular courthouse. Going back to the District Attorney's office, once you enter a not guilty Plea in Department S, the case will be moved into Department H, the Early Disposition Court.
Early Disposition Matters
There's a Deputy District Attorney there who handles all early disposition matters. Then if you can't resolve the case in Department H, the patient will then be moved to Department G, where you are entitled to do a preliminary hearing. Other prosecutors are staffed in there as well. Then finally, once you do the preliminary hearing, you will be moved into one of the trial courts—some specific prosecutors staff each of the trial courts in the San Fernando court system.
Going back to the City Attorney's office, once you enter that not guilty plea in Department M, you're now stuck in either Department A or Department B, and the case is going to be resolved in there one way or another. Either there will be a jury trial, and the jury will decide whether or not the client is guilty or not guilty, or there will be a negotiated plea between the defense attorney and one of the San Fernando Deputy City Attorneys who handle the misdemeanor cases in that particular courthouse.
So, whether you're dealing with the City Attorney's office or the District Attorney's office, both offices in the San Fernando courthouse are very reasonable. Sometimes clients have misdemeanors and felonies.
They have prior convictions for a misdemeanor, and they're now being charged with a felony and vice versa. Then, you're going to have to do as a defense attorney deals with both the City Attorney's office and the District Attorney's office. So, it can get a little bit complicated. It can be a little complex – again, depending on the circumstances of the case.
I've been doing this for a long time. I know the system. I know exactly how the City Attorney's office and the District Attorney's office in San Fernando kind of work together and in conjunction, and I know how to maneuver a case that's charged in the San Fernando court system through the City Attorney's office and the District Attorney's office. So, if you have this type of scenario, give me a call. We'll sit down. We'll go over everything and put together a strategy to successfully achieve your criminal case in the San Fernando court system.