Let's review how to get a City Attorney Hearing after a domestic violence arrest in Los Angeles. For those people who have been arrested for domestic violence or what they call spousal abuse, they are looking for a way out because nobody wants to get convicted of a crime.
When you are arrested for California domestic violence charges, the prosecutors and judge often put a protective order against you, and you're not allowed to return home.
You're not allowed to see your loved one, and obviously, this is a terrible result for many people who are married, have kids, and are trying to support their family, and now they're kicked out of the family home.
So, trying to get a City Attorney Hearing could be crucial. The reason for that is if the prosecutors decide to do a City Attorney hearing, there's a good likelihood they won't file the case against you.
What we do when the person comes in, I'm going to go over the whole case with them and figure out what the ins and outs of the case are and see if this is the type of case where we could get a City Attorney hearing.
Injuries in Domestic Violence Cases
You can't do it in every case because if there's a bad injury and they can prove you're the one that caused it and you did it illegally and weren't defending yourself, you're not going to get a City Attorney hearing on the case.
It's those borderline cases where's those no injury, for example, you've been arrested and have a court date, that we can contact the prosecutors.
The City Attorney's office usually files misdemeanor cases, although there are exceptions in LA county where the DA file both misdemeanors and felonies. But usually, we're dealing with the City Attorney's office, and we'll send them a mitigation package right from the beginning, once we're hired, prefiling.
That's where people get confused. Just because the police have arrested and cited you in court doesn't mean a case has been filed against you. Police cannot file a domestic violence case.
Only the prosecutors can do that. So, what we're trying to do is avoid the filing. If they don't file the case, you have no case against you.
What is a Mitigation Package?
So, we'll send to the prosecutor character letters, and sometimes we'll let them know your side of the story, so they know what happened on the other end of it.
Because many times the police, whom I would characterize as a rush to judgment, where they're only taking the alleged victim's side of it, and they think they're the advocate for the alleged victim instead of a neutral authority trying to figure out what happened. So, that's our job to:
- let the prosecutors know your side of everything,
- get them character letters,
- let them know about your job,
- your family, your life, and
- all the things you want to do in the future.
This is to convince them to do the City Attorney hearing.
City Attorney Hearing
In a domestic violence City Attorney hearing, the City Attorney hearing officer is trying to decide whether to file charges. So, we can go in there. We've already sent them all of the characters. We're very polite. We give them information.
We let them know this is never going to happen again. They're never going to be bothered again because, believe me, when they make their filing decision, they're making it based on the following:
- whether or not somebody was injured;
- If they can prove it,
- whether or not they will have any more problems with you.
If they feel you will be a problem in the future, they will file a case against you. But, on the other hand, if they think you can be reformed, you won't have any other problems; you'll go into counseling, and they may give you a break.
We're looking for that in a City Attorney's hearing regarding a spousal abuse or domestic violence case. We want to show that you're a good person; this will never happen again, and avoid the filing altogether.
Not get the dismissal. Don't be confused. There's nothing to dismiss when we do that City Attorney hearing. So we will avoid the filing in the first place, which is even better than the dismissal because there's nothing to dismiss.
If you need the best, pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.