Prosecuting City Attorney Evaluating The Misdemeanor Case
When it comes to criminal activity in the San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys is the one that handles a lot of the City Attorney hearings. A City Attorney hearing is, in general, is it has to do with someone being accused of committing a crime – they may have been arrested by the police, they may have been cited in by the police – and the City Attorney gets the case.
They're usually going to prosecute a misdemeanor case. One of their filing deputies evaluates the case and says, I'm not sure if we want to file this case. Maybe what we want to do is a City Attorney hearing. We'll get both parties in. We'll send letters out to them and have them come in.
They're certainly entitled to come in with their lawyer and a City Attorney hearing officer in Van Nuys – there's a City Attorney hearing office right near the Van Nuys courthouse – probably within a hundred yards of the Van Nuys courthouse – and you go in there and talk to them about it.
The objective, at least from my standpoint – having done hundreds of these City Attorney hearings in Van Nuys right near that courthouse – is trying to get a non-filing. Meaning we don't want them to file it at all.
That way, you don't have to go to court. You don't have to be booked if you haven't been booked yet for purposes of getting the arrest record, and you don't have to worry about having to go to jail or deal with any punishment, sentence, or conviction related to your case.
So, if you have a matter that has been set for a City Attorney hearing, you have to get it dealt with the right way. I can remember back twenty-five years ago standing on the steps right near the courthouse, waiting to go in and do my first City Attorney hearing. I had a bunch of witnesses lined up. We put everything on, and I have not lost a City Attorney hearing, having done this for many, many years.
Resolving The Case Before Going to Court
Part of the reason is that when the prosecutors set these City Attorney hearings, they're looking to get the case resolved. They don't want the chance to go into the court unless you force their hand and act unreasonable and say a bunch of stuff that makes them think that you're going to continue to commit crimes – they're probably going to warn you. They may make you do something to avoid filing in the Van Nuys Court.
So, if you have a Van Nuys City Attorney hearing, it's good in the sense that there's a real good chance that no case is going to be filed against you. I always like things handled the right way. I always like things dealt with cleanly, so I would always have an attorney there at the City Attorney hearings; that way, your attorney can properly advise you.
You can show the City Attorney hearing officer in Van Nuys that you're taking the case seriously, and you can end up with the result that you need where no case is filed. You can get yourself back on the road to not worrying about the criminal justice system and other more important things. So, I would say handle it once. Handle it right and never deal with the City Attorney hearing again.
I know the Van Nuys courthouse. I know the City Attorney's hearing office. I know the City Attorneys. That's why we get you in and talk about it. We get our plan together, and we handle it to perfection, so you do not have to end up in the criminal court having to fight a criminal case, and all the potential punishments that are available to the criminal judge can be wiped out because your case is going to end up not being filed at all if it's handled the right way about a City Attorney hearing in the Van Nuys judicial system.