The West Valley Police Station which is on Van Owen Street in the San Fernando Valley pretty much as jurisdiction over most of the west end of the Valley and the middle of the San Fernando Valley. They share jurisdiction with Topanga Police Station and also the Lost Hills Sheriff Station which borders up near Valley Circle. So, if a crime occurs in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, there’s a good chance that the West Valley Police Station and their officers are going to have authority and jurisdiction over that crime and they will send out units to respond to the crime and they will deal with the crime.
What they do is investigate crimes. Sometimes it’s real easy for them – they have witnesses that a crime is committed or they even see the crime and they arrest the person. Then they either give them a citation to appear in court or they set a bail and then the person has to post the bail or they’ll be in court within about seventy-two hours, depending on when they’re arrested. Sometimes when you get arrested near a holiday that will take longer to get you into court. After they arrest somebody that person is going to appear in court.
The next responsibility they have is to generate a police report so the prosecutors have something to look at and evaluate when deciding whether or not to file a case against somebody. So, just because West Valley police officers arrest somebody, doesn’t necessarily mean the prosecutors are going to file a criminal case against them. A lot of times the prosecutors will look at the case and say, you didn’t do enough investigation on this case. We’re not going to file it at this time. We’re going to reject it and we’re asking you to go out and do further investigation and come back to us and give us that information and we will re-evaluate. But, most of the time, if the police have done their job and there’s evidence of a crime, the police give it to the prosecutors, the prosecutors review it and then they’ll file whatever charges they deem appropriate.
That’s another thing that happens. A lot of times the West Valley Police will book somebody for a certain crime, the prosecutors get it and they decide not to charge that crime or those crimes — we’re going to charge difference crimes because you don’t have it right. We don’t want to be this harsh or we want to be harsher. So, when you get to the arraignment, even though the West Valley Police Station has set a bail, the bail can go up or down depending on the circumstances of the case, depending on what crimes the prosecutors file.
So, the West Valley Police Station has a very important responsibility. A lot of times when officers are trying to get information from a criminal defendant, they will actually invite them into the West Valley Police Station and talk to them. In my experience, this is never a good idea because a lot of times what they’re trying to do is get you to make a statement that incriminates you and then they’ll just arrest you right there. You make it real easy for them because you’re right at the police station. So, it’s never a good idea if you’re under investigation for a crime — in my opinion — to talk to the police unless you’ve talked to your lawyer and you and your lawyer decide it’s the best avenue for you under the circumstances of your case.
The problem with talking to the West Valley police officers when they’re investigating a crime is that they’re really not your friend. They’re in the business of trying to ferret out crimes. They’re trying to get you to say something to incriminate yourself. A lot of times I’ve seen things taken out of context, words twisted, various things going on, and obviously, it’s not fair. That’s why just don’t even talk to the West Valley police in the first place. Let your attorney do the talking for you. So, if you’ve been arrested by the West Valley Police Station and have a case pending probably in Van Nuys court — that’s the jurisdiction they control — you obviously should have your attorney deal with the case and deal with the police. If you’re getting a citation or letter, or any type of communication from a West Valley police officer regarding a criminal case, get to an attorney. Let them handle it. Make the right moves now so that you’re not sorry later, because usually the best evidence that I’ve seen in criminal cases against criminal defendants, is their own statement.
Categorised in: Criminal Defense