I have been dealing with the prosecutors in the San Fernando 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 San Fernando court system. When you walk in the court and go down the hall, the first courtroom on the left is Department S. That courtroom is staffed by the District Attorney’s office. 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 Department M. That courtroom is staffed by the City Attorney’s office. They usually have at least two Deputy City Attorneys in there, handling cases, dealing with attorneys and arguing motions and arguing whether people should be able to be bailed out or not.
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 Los Angeles county, but San Fernando is definitely 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 very easy to deal with, and 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 then be moved into Department H which is the Early Disposition Court. There’s a Deputy District Attorney there who handles all of the early disposition matters and then if you can’t resolve the case in Department H, the case will then be moved to Department G where you are entitled to do a preliminary hearing and there are other prosecutors who are staffed in there as well, and then finally, once you do the preliminary hearing, you will be moved into one of the trial court and there are specific prosecutors who staff each one 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 is going to 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 handles 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, what you’re going to have to do as a defense attorney is deal 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 a scenario. Give me a call. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over everything and we’ll put together a strategy so you can have successful outcome of your criminal case in the San Fernando court system.
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