If you have a criminal felony case in the Van Nuys courthouse, step by step, first you're going to end up in Department 100, that's the felony arraignment court, and you'll either enter a not guilty plea, or you can continue the arraignment.
You can end up going into the early disposition program, basically where you're trying to see if the prosecutors will offer a deal on a particular case. They'll have the probation department take a look at it. They'll look at your criminal record, and the next time you come to court, your attorney can try to negotiate in Department 100 to see if the case can be resolved.
If your case is not the correct type of case to be resolved in Department 100, then your attorney will typically enter a not guilty plea, and then your case in the Van Nuys courthouse will be sent to one of the preliminary hearing courts. Those are all staffed by different prosecutors, and then there's one prosecutor who oversees all the initial hearing courts in Van Nuys.
After you do your preliminary hearing, a mini-trial where the government has to try and show that you prima facia committed the elements of each crime you're charged with. If they present enough evidence to the judge, the judge will then hold you to answer, and you will be sent into the trial court.
Trial Court in Van Nuys
In the trial court — there are probably six trial courts in Van Nuys — you will have your trial judge, and that judge will pretty much be in charge of your case until it's time to go to trial.
You can try to negotiate with the judge. You can try to deal with the prosecutor. You can go to the higher-up prosecutor in the Van Nuys court, and finally, you either resolve your case, or what you can do is you can take your case to trial. You'll pick a jury, and then the jury will decide whether you're innocent or guilty.
So, if you or a loved one has a case in the Van Nuys Court, pick up the phone and take the first step towards resolving your matter, one way or the other — either you're going to fix it by way of a disposition. You can also resolve it by way of a negotiated plea, but either way, you want to make sure before you take your case to trial in the Van Nuys courthouse that you've got good issues and sound arguments.
You talk to your attorney about this before you decide to take your case to trial. The jury pool in Van Nuys is a pretty conservative pool drawn from areas where conservative jurors live. This has been my experience for the last 26 years handling cases in this particular courthouse. Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in LA County, and we offer a free case review by phone or contact form.