Law Enforcement Criminal Investigation
This concept of pre-filing intervention has to do with your criminal defense attorney reaching out to the police and prosecutors about you and your case before any filing decision is made. In other words, the police don't have the authority to file a case in the San Fernando Valley. They've got to go through the prosecutors.
Some cases are prosecuted by the City Attorney's office, typically misdemeanor cases, while others are charged by the District Attorney's office, typically felony cases. There are some exceptions but very few.
What happens is the police investigate your case, and then they pass along their findings and investigation to the prosecutors through:
- police reports,
- audio tapes and other evidence.
The prosecutors, who are lawyers, make the final decision on what cases get filed. We can sometimes get to the police and talk to them and give them evidence that might be relevant to their case.
In other words, we could give them a witness, for example, who could refute some of the evidence they may think they have against you. We could also talk to them about the case; this way, you don't expose yourself to talking to them.
Attorney Acts as a Buffer Between You and Police
You've got your attorney who will talk to them, pass information for you, pass the info along and ask questions. So, in this pre-filling situation in the San Fernando Valley, your attorney acts as a buffer between you and the police.
So, number one, you don't say anything that incriminates you, and believe it or not, you can do that and not even try to. The police could lie about what you said. They could take something out of context. The bottom line is, don't talk to the police. Let your attorney do the talking for you at this pre-filing phase.
Negotiation with Filing Deputies
All of the San Fernando Valley courts, Van Nuys, San Fernando courthouse, Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena have what they call filing deputies. Those are the prosecutors who receive the information from the police, and then they decide. Sometimes they get that information day or even weeks before your court date.
They decide and file the case, and we can see it on the computer. We can call the District Attorney or City Attorney. They can look your name up with your date of birth, then give us the case number and tell us the case filed against you.
Other times, especially during these unprecedented problematic times, they're holding onto cases, and they're bringing them in, especially in significant felony cases, the day of the court.
So now, the filing deputy has to make a quick decision. So, sometimes that pre-filing could be crucial because we've already to them before the police get to them, giving them good information about you, mitigation on the other side of the store related to your case.
So, pre-filing intervention in the San Fernando Valley, in my opinion, is crucial. Even if you know they're going to file a case against you because they have evidence against you, you still want your attorney right away.
This will give you some peace of mind to act as a buffer and do whatever is possible with those San Fernando Valley prosecutors to ensure that you're treated reasonably right from the beginning. My name is Ron Hedding. I've been doing this now for almost 30 years. I love criminal defense. I love helping people.
I've worked for the District Attorney's office. I've worked for a superior court judge, and I've worked for people just like you since 1994 as a criminal defense attorney. Pick up the phone and ask for a meeting. I stand at the ready to help you.