Kidnapping is one of the highest charges that the prosecutors in Van Nuys can charge and if the person who is charged with the kidnapping in Van Nuys actually moved the victim or victims in the case, then they could be facing life in prison. So, these charges, in my opinion, are just as serious as a murder charge and they need to be treated as such. We investigate the charge. We talk to the prosecutors. We get our own people out there to look into the evidence and speak to the witnesses.
Really, the question becomes what evidence are the prosecutors trying to use to prove you’re guilty and what can we do to negate that evidence? You can’t say the same thing in every case. Some cases we don’t need to investigate because that’s not really the evidence the prosecutors are using. In some cases, there’s more than meets the eye. For example, the police did only a one-sided investigation and didn’t get the defense side of the equation, and that’s where we have to come in and get the defense equation across, to either the prosecutor, the judge or the jury, depending on what type of a case it is, how serious the charges are and whether not we can work something out with the prosecutors.
There are a number of different ways that a kidnapping case can go in Van Nuys. We can try to resolve it, get a lesser charge, or we can try to get you charged with a crime that doesn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping. And of course, we can try to take the case to a jury trial, have the jury find you not guilty of the kidnapping charge and then you’re on your way out of there. In certain cases, we might be able to use a duress or threats as a legal defense.
Of course, before we would do a jury trial in a kidnapping case in a Van Nuys courthouse, we would want to make darn sure that we can win the case.
So, I have to evaluate the evidence and that includes going all of the discovery, the witness statements, any videos or any other expert testimony the prosecutors might provide – any of their witness statements, and even talk to their witnesses if that makes sense based on the circumstances of the case. After I’ve done that, I sit down with the defendant ad we go over everything. I tell them what the evidence is that the prosecutors are going to try to prove against them. I give him an idea of how the prosecutors will try to prove a kidnapping case in Van Nuys against him – how they will present the evidence, how the defense could try to attack the evidence. Of course, I get the defendant’s version of what happened. Sometimes the truth lies in the middle. Sometimes the police have got it all wrong and the prosecutors, who are lawyers like me – once they see the other side of it, a lot of times they say, yeah, we see. We get it. This was poorly investigated and we’re going to dismiss the charges. We’ll give your client a different charge, or they’ll dismiss the charges altogether.
Again, you can’t make promises or predictions at this point because I have to see all the evidence. I have to really get a good feel for what type of a case they have. Is this a glorified kidnapping where they’ve charged a horrible crime here when in reality, it’s a different crime that occurred. And that’s what I see a lot of in these kidnapping cases. It’s not like the Patty Hurst situation where she’s being kidnapped and held for years. These guys get a domestic dispute and the next thing you know they’ve got a kidnapping charge. Someone’s looking at life and they’re happy to take a horrible felony on their record and some jail time.
So, we really have to look into what’s going on, how serious the allegations are, how good the prosecutor’s case is, how bad the prosecutor’s case is, and see if they really have a legit kidnapping charge. If they don’t, then we need to get the kidnapping charge dismissed. We need to get a different charge put in place and we need to move on with our lives. Of course, when you’re talking about looking at huge years in a sentence on a moving a person kidnapping where you’re looking at spending the rest of your life in prison, or just a regular kidnapping where nobody is moved – even it that circumstance you can get nine years in prison. So, obviously, nobody wants to get that type of a sentence. So, it’s crucial that we look at all the facts and circumstances surrounding the kidnapping charge.
What it boils down to is getting the right criminal defense attorney on the job, letting them go to work for you. I do everything I possibly can to get rid of the kidnapping charge because we definitely don’t want that on your record and tell the prosecutors in Van Nuys to give you a different charge, or we go to jury trial and do everything we can to win the case.
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