Presumption of Probation on All Criminal Cases
Like all of the courts in Los Angeles County, District Attorneys that prosecute felonies have been given a directive by the new head District Attorney in Los Angeles county.
They are to dismiss all prior strikes pending against people in criminal cases, along with all special allegations. They've also been given a significant directive related to California criminal cases that there is a presumption now.
When the District Attorney evaluates cases, each defendant should be getting probation unless the District Attorney can come up with some aggravating factor that makes it outside the new policy.
And, even then, they cannot give the person prison. They must write a letter to the Bureau Chief in the District Attorney's office explaining why they think the case is worth prison. Then they get an answer back, and they decide what to do.
Long story short, as a criminal defense attorney for the past 27 years practicing in Los Angeles, I believe that that courthouse has been impacted very positively by the new directives as far as criminal defendants are concerned.
Some Judges Are Refusing to Follow New Directives
The District Attorney's office and some judges don't like what's going on. Judges, for example, have tried to block the new head prosecutor's directive and have ordered that strikes not be stricken.
They are refusing to strike special allegations. They're doing whatever they can to block the new DA, basically saying that he is not acting in the interest of justice, that his actions are political, and that they don't see any justification for it.
Probably the biggest argument against the policies in the San Fernando court and across Los Angeles County is that they're just a blanket policy without looking at each case individually to see whether or not the case warrants prison or the case warrants probation.
New Policies Improve Chances to Avoid Prison
The bottom line is the pendulum has pretty clearly shifted in favor of defendants in criminal cases in the San Fernando courthouse. This is a crucial change because it gives people who are charged with crimes in the San Fernando Valley a fighting chance to:
- stay out of prison.
- to preserve their life,
- to preserve their criminal record and a whole host of other things.
So, if you or a loved one has a case pending in the San Fernando court, you've got to hire an attorney like me.
I have the background to know how to use the new directives in your favor to lessen any punishment, get charges dismissed, and put you in the best possible position moving forward.
Pick up the phone if you've got a case in the San Fernando court. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand ready to answer all of your questions, and we will begin to start the plan to get this criminal matter behind you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in LA County, and we offer a free case review at (213) 542-0940 or fill out our contact form.