Santa Monica has been around for a long time and a lot of people get arrested in this particular city. There used to be a criminal court there that handled all the cases and I had been practicing there for many years.
However, they ended up closing it down for criminal matters when they built the Airport LAX courthouse which was a multi-million-dollar project — a much bigger facility and could handle a lot more cases.
So, now if you get arrested in the city of Santa Monica, you're typically going to be sent to the LAX court, or if it's a certain type of serious case, you could end up getting sent to downtown Los Angeles, 210 West Temple Street.
Common Crimes of Burglary, DUI, Domestic Violence
There's a whole slew of crimes that I've defended people for over the years. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office staffs the courthouse that handles the criminal cases that are arrested out of that area.
I deal with those prosecutors and judges all the time and have a pretty good feel for what their tendencies are and how they handle certain criminal cases. It just kind of depends on what type of criminal case it is.
For example, violent crimes like a robbery where you're taking somebody's property either by force or with a weapon, those are going to be treated very harshly. The prosecutors are typically going to be looking at prison time.
DUI's on the other hand, as long as nobody's hurt, are typically going to be prosecuted as misdemeanors and are a lot more easy to deal with. There are all sorts of other crimes.
Reviewing Details of Your Arrest
But really what we do strategy-wise if you're arrested in the city of Santa Monica is I have you come and meet with me. We go over all the details of the arrest, circumstances, witnesses, what information you have related to the arrest.
I encourage you to be honest with me so that I can really get a good feel for what you're up against. Obviously to make the final decision on exactly how to handle your case, I'm going to need the police report which details all the information related to the evidence the prosecutors are going to have against you.
Then I'm going to want to speak to the prosecutor because they're the lawyers like me on the other side. They'll be able to kind of give me a good feel for number one, what type of evidence they have against you, how they feel about your case and what they're kind of arguments are going to be if you were to try to fight the case.
Number two, if we do decide that we want to try to work out some sort of a resolution with them, they'll give me a good idea of what they'll be seeking should you agree to plead guilty or no contest in the case.
Sometimes instead of dealing with the prosecutors, I will deal with the judge on the case because even though the prosecutors control of the charges and what is filed in the case and what's dismissed, the judges on the other hand are typically going to control what the sentence is.
Negotiation Between Prosecution and Defense
Although in reality, in most criminal cases, whether you're arrested in Santa Monica city or anywhere in Los Angeles, it's going to be a negotiation between the prosecution and the defense, and the judge just puts his or her approval on the case.
But there are circumstances where if you don't feel like the prosecutor is being reasonable in a criminal case, you have the option as a criminal defense attorney to go to the judge and see what type of indicated sentence they might have if your client was willing to plead guilty.
They are part of the process too and they know how to handle criminal cases and since there the ones that control the sentence. Sometimes there is some leeway in how to deal with a particular criminal case by way of going to a criminal judge.
So, if you were arrested in Santa Monica and you are appearing in one of the courthouses, like for example the Airport court, pick up the phone. Make the call. Let's sit down. Let's talk about it.
Let's get our strategy together so that you can start to take control of your case, get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, and obviously, protect your rights, your record, your reputation and your freedom.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.