Hedding Law Firm

Category: Criminal Defense

When Can Judge Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor in California?

This is an excellent question, because usually when it comes to criminal defense, judges control the sentence, while prosecutors control what the charges are.  So, a lot of times a case can’t be worked out or resolved because a defendant wants a misdemeanor and the prosecutors have charged him or her with a felony and they will not reduce the case down to a misdemeanor. Therefore, the defendant will not take a deal on the case because they don’t want to plead to a felony and be subjected to all of the penalties that come along with that, like the… Read More

Are You Allowed to Film the Police in California?

There’s no law that blocks people from filing the police.  Obviously, as you’ve seen throughout the years, many police officers are caught on video doing illegal things and a lot of time, a nice video is a defense attorney’s best friend because that can be used to discredit the police if they’re saying something that’s not true that was actually captured on video. Interference with Police Performing Their Duty Where you could run into a problem in videoing a police officer in the performance of their duty is if you interfere with him or obstruct him in any way, they… Read More

Common Mistakes Defendants Make in a Criminal Case

The first mistake that I’ve seen criminal defendants make is to open their big mouth.  In other words, they start talking to the police and giving information that is ultimately the best evidence that the police and prosecutors can use to prosecute them and convict them of a criminal case. So, rule number one as it relates to criminal defense is, keep your mouth shut.  Don’t give any statements to the police.  Let your attorney do the talking for you. You have constitutional rights. Making Statements to Police If you’ve been foolish enough to give a statement to the police,… Read More

Significance of a Gang Enhancement in a Los Angeles Criminal Case

These gang enhancements are a real problem if you’re charged with a crime. Some of the gang enhancements actually carry a ten year sentence with them. So, in addition to being punished or sentenced for the underlying crime, you could also be sentenced to consecutive time for the gang enhancement, and like I said, some of these enhancements carry a lot of prison time with them, And obviously, if you’re charged with a gang enhancement, you’ll want to get a good attorney than can come and help you. Prosecutor Adding an Extra Gang Allegation One thing that’s interesting is people… Read More

Is it a Crime to Lie to a Police Officer?

It’s an interesting question because sometimes it is a crime to lie to the police and other times it’s not a crime to lie to the police.  The bottom line is, if the police are trying to question you for some sort of a crime they might think you’re involved with, you shouldn’t be talking to them. Any attorney is going to tell you that.  You’re not going to help yourself.  You’re not going to out-smart the police.  At best, you’re going to give you side of the story which will give the prosecutors a chance to use it against… Read More

What is the Purpose of a California Pitchess Motion?

When you have a situation where law enforcement are the primary witnesses or law enforcement has done something illegal related to a search, taking a statement or anything the defendant can use to file a motion to try to get the case dismissed or mitigated, you want to think about doing what’s called a “Pitchess Motion.” Police Officer Personnel Records Showing a Pattern of Misconduct What it is, is you’re trying to get the background information on the police officers associated with the case and you’re looking for stuff like prior false police reports that they might have filed, lying… Read More

Should You Take a Plea Deal for Your Los Angeles Criminal Case?

This is one of the biggest burning questions on people’s mind if they’re charged with a crime anywhere in California.  This is sometimes not the easiest question to answer and you’re going to want an answer with the guidance of a season California criminal defense attorney who knows you, your case, your criminal record and knows whether or not if you go to jury trial, you can win. But that’s really the evaluation, isn’t it?  I mean, you have two choices in general in criminal cases when they’re filed against you.  You either fight the case.  Take it to a… Read More

Getting Charges Dismissed in Los Angeles with No Conviction

There are actually a lot of different ways in Los Angeles county criminal courts when someone’s charged with a criminal case to get the case dismissed.  Obviously, the one that you would probably think of off the top of your head is to go to trial and if the client is found not-guilty then the case is dismissed. Sometimes, through investigation and hard work and the right case, obviously, you can convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case after they file it, assuming they have got some good stuff that they didn’t consider at the time they filed it. You… Read More

Right to a Speedy Trial in a California Criminal Case

This issue comes up all the time.  I’ve been doing criminal defense now for twenty-five years and a lot of times, for various reasons, I will be arguing that the judge or the prosecutor, or both, are violating my client’s speedy trial right.  And it doesn’t just have to do with a trial.  It could also have to do with the preliminary hearing. Defendants who have been charged a criminal offense in Los Angeles have a right to a speedy trial that is guaranteed by both the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the California Constitution. Our California… Read More

Purposes of a Preliminary Hearing in Los Angeles Criminal Cases

This is a good question about why do they do preliminary hearings?  What are they used for?  What’s the significance to a criminal case?  The reality is that a preliminary hearing is only something that is available and utilized if the person is charged with a felony. Prosecutors Must Meet Certain Elements of the Crime You’re not entitled to a preliminary hearing if you’re charged with a misdemeanor.  Basically, what this is, it’s the government — the prosecutors having to meet certain elements and satisfy the prima facia case when they’ve got somebody charged with different crimes. It really amounts… Read More