Van Nuys Criminal Defense Lawyer

The answer to this question is simple; your attorney must be a local insider that appears in the Van Nuys Courthouse daily. There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “it is not what you know; it is who you know.” By appearing in a courthouse frequently, an attorney gets to know and understand the tendencies of the key players in the court system.

The judges and prosecutors have a lot of power when it comes to resolving a particular case. A savvy defense attorney who has negotiated and litigated cases against the very people who will decide your fate is in the best position to advise and defend you properly. Always go with a local respected defense attorney above all else!

Van Nuys Courthouse
14400 Erwin Street Mall
Van Nuys, CA 91401
(818) 989-6900
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I have been appearing in the Van Nuys Superior court for the past twenty-five years and have done jury trials in every courtroom in the building. Many of the judges in Van Nuys were prosecutors or defense attorneys when I first met them. In my opinion, the years I have spent fighting for my clients have shaped me into an attorney that knows how to make the right moves at the right time for my clients—knowing what to do and when is crucial in the criminal defense arena.

I make a point to take control of a criminal case the first day I meet the client. Our job is to set up the map for a successful resolution of your case. I must know everything about you and your case to put the pieces together. Once we have the plan, we will execute it and make sure that all of your concerns are addressed, and we can get your life moving in the right direction.

Step by Step Process

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.

What Happens in the First 24 Hours After an Arrest? 

If you have been arrested, you will be brought to the Van Nuys police station in the jurisdiction where the case is pending. You are required to appear in court within 72 hours. Otherwise, they have to let you go. You will be given a court date about 30 days away if you bail out. There are disadvantages to posting bail. You give the police an extra 30 days to put together the case against you if you bail out of custody.

During those 30 days, the prosecuting attorney could change the charges that the police booked you for, add more, or take away charges. They can also ask for a higher bail than what you posted. Then, your attorney has to argue to keep the bail the same. If the bail gets raised, you will have to post the difference to stay out of jail.

Once you appear in the Van Nuys Court, you will be informed of the charges against you and given your next court date. You will have a chance to meet with your attorney. You can stay in the early disposition court and try to see if you can resolve the case or move your case into one of the preliminary hearing courts.

Certain charges, such as sex crimes and domestic violence, require a special prosecutor in Van Nuys. If you are arrested for one of these crimes, your attorney must wait for the district attorney's office to appoint that prosecutor. There are different moving parts of a case in the Van Nuys court. Your best move is to get a criminal attorney who regularly practices there.

What Can Our Criminal Lawyers Do to Help You? 

We know how to represent a person charged with a crime in Van Nuys Courthouse. We handle hundreds of cases in Van Nuys every year and know what to do and how to deal with the prosecutors, judges, and critical participants related to your case. Van Nuys Courthouse is one of the largest in San Fernando Valley. Of the approximately 47 courthouses in Los Angeles County, this court is one of the top five as far as the volume of cases going through its doors each month.

If a crime occurs in the San Fernando Valley, it will be prosecuted in the Van Nuys Courthouse. One of the most common types of crimes is domestic violence-related related charges. If you or a loved one is being prosecuted, logic dictates you will choose a local well-known law firm to protect your interests, which appears in the Van Nuys Courthouse daily.

One who has established the connections and reputation necessary to get the job done! That's where we come in to make sure that you are treated fairly and end up with the result that you deserve. I have created a law firm specifically focused on being the most effective in local courthouse politics and knowing the system and players within that system. We know what it takes and who to talk to to get the job done.

I encourage you to call us and set up a free face-to-face consultation. You will be educated on how the system works, and we will talk about how we can resolve your specific problem. It won't cost you a dime to begin to formulate a plan to get your particular situation behind you.

Once we have the plan, if you believe that we are the firm to execute the plan, then you will retain us and get yourself on the road to getting your life back! No one can match our credentials or ability to figure out a plan to get you out of the system and back to your life.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense such as a theft crime, sex crime, drug crime, white-collar crime, or a serious felony, you should speak with the dedicated Van Nuys criminal defense attorneys at the Hedding Law Firm. We have handled countless cases involving misdemeanors and serious felonies, and we are committed to helping our clients fight their criminal charges both in and out of court.

Van Nuys Jail Procedures Regarding New Arrests

When someone is arrested and brought to Van Nuys Jail, the police must obtain that person to court within two business days. If the person is booked for a misdemeanor crime, it usually takes only one business day for the Van Nuys Jail to move them into the Van Nuys Criminal Courthouse.

However, if the person is booked for a felony in Van Nuys, a detective will typically review the case before filing it with the Van Nuys District Attorney's Office. In a felony booking, it usually takes two business days to get the person to court. If the arrest occurs on a weekend or holiday, it can extend when a person is held in custody in Van Nuys. Of course, once a person is booked in Van Nuys Jail, they have the option of posting bail and will be released quicker than the two days.

Once bail is posted, the court date in Van Nuys is usually set approximately thirty days away. If you or a loved one has been arrested and held in the Van Nuys Jail, I encourage you to contact us…we can quickly find out what the charges are when the person is going to Van Nuys Court and, once hired, start the process of protecting your loved one's rights, reputation and freedom!

Inside Information About the Van Nuys Court

Twenty-five years ago, I made my first court appearance in the Van Nuys court and had made thousands of cases there since that time. It is one of my favorite courthouses in Los Angeles County, and I am proud to have had some unbelievable success for my clients in Van Nuys. In my opinion, the judges in this courthouse are fair, and so are both prosecutor's offices.

In this courthouse, the City Attorney's Office prosecutes all misdemeanor cases that fall in the Van Nuys jurisdiction. The District Attorney's Office prosecutes all felony matters filed in this courthouse. All first-time arraignments are heard in Van Nuys Department 100 if the case is filed as a felony and in Van Nuys Division 101 if the case is filed as a misdemeanor.

Also of note is that the courthouse has a 90-day rule in misdemeanor cases whereby the judges are putting pressure on all of the attorneys to finish a criminal case one way or another within ninety days of the date of the filing of the case. Sometimes this works to the defense's advantage, while other times, it does not. When it comes to negotiating cases, the District Attorney's Office, like many entities, has a hierarchy of command.

A successful criminal defense attorney needs to know how to maneuver a case through their office to a successful resolution and, of course, avoid the pitfalls along the way. I invite you to come and tell me which court your case is in, who you judge is, who your prosecutor is, and the facts and circumstances of your case. I will give you an insider's perspective of your case and an idea of what the strategy should be moving forward.

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What Is the Process After My Case Has Been Filed? 

Once your case is filed in the Van Nuys Courthouse, you will be brought into one of the two arraignment courtrooms. If your case is filed as a felony, it will start in Department 100 on the courthouse's third floor. If the case is filed as a misdemeanor, it will be prosecuted in Department 101, which is on the third floor, right next to Department 100. The judge will ask you whether you will enter a guilty, not guilty, or no contest plea, and then the case will proceed from there.

If the plea is not guilty, then the case will be sent to a preliminary hearing courtroom (if it is a felony) and to one of the trial courts if it is a misdemeanor. If, on the other hand, you plead guilty, then you will likely be sentenced on the spot, or the sentencing will be set for a future date.

Another option is to continue the arraignment and set it for a future date to resolve while you and your attorney gather necessary information on your behalf to convince the judge and the prosecutor to give you a resolution of your choice. Another essential thing that will happen at the arraignment is that your custody status will be dealt with. The judge can either release you on your promise to appear for future court dates, or they can make you post bail to be released.

Your attorney is entitled to argue for you to be released on the spot or argue for a bail that they think you can post as you can see from the above, having a seasoned criminal defense attorney who knows the courthouse you are being prosecuted in makes all the difference in the world and can impact whether you get out of custody or not.

When I represent my clients in the Van Nuys Courthouse, I can give them a perspective that most other attorneys can not, based on my knowledge of the judge's and prosecutor's tendencies in some instances and have successfully handled thousands of cases in this particular courthouse.

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. 

Step by Step Process for a Van Nuys Criminal Case

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.