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What is the Court Process in a Domestic Violence Case?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Apr 21, 2023

For those who have been arrested for California domestic violence charges, had to post a $50,000.00 bail, and now have to appear in a Los Angeles court, there's a whole process that goes on and starts with the arraignment.

The arraignment is where you enter your initial plea, which is guilty, not guilty, or no contest.  Typically, the person will plead not guilty to get the discovery in the case, review it, talk to their attorney about it, and decide exactly how to proceed.  That's another thing your attorney will get at the initial court appearance, such as the following:

  • Discovery,
  • Video,
  • Police report,
  • Pictures of the victim's injuries, and
  • Whatever else is available from the prosecutors.

Arraignment, Bail, and New Court Date

Also, at the arraignment, the bail will be discussed.  If you've already posted a $50,000.00 bail, they could leave it, raise it, or make it less than that.  They could release you on your own recognizance.  It all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case and how your attorney handles it.

Once the plea is entered at the initial arraignment, the individual will get a new court date.  If it's a felony, the case will often be set for a preliminary hearing, which is like a mini-trial where the prosecutors have to put on the evidence related to the case. The defense attorney gets an opportunity to cross-examine all of the witnesses. 

When the preliminary hearing is completed, the judge will decide whether or not there's enough evidence to bind the person into the trial court.

If, on the other hand, the case is charged as a misdemeanor, then the case will be set for pretrial.  Any motions could be filed by that court date by the defense. Also, the defense will negotiate with the prosecutor to see if this case can be resolved through a plea agreement.

Determining the Best Defense Strategy

I have my client come into the office after we get all the paperwork.  We sit down and talk about the best strategy moving forward, such as the following:

  • As are we going to fight the case?
  • Are we going to file motions?
  • Are we going to try to get the case dismissed?
  • Or, is it better not to anger the prosecutor because they have all the evidence in the case and try to work out some resolution?

Getting back to the court process, after you make your initial appearance and then we appear at the next court date, there is typically a discussion between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.

Sometimes, the judge will even get involved in the discussion to decide which direction the case will head. 

Along the way, I will always keep my clients apprised of what's going on.  You'll know what the strategy is.  You'll know exactly what we will do to get you the best result.

Sometimes I'll have you get character letters.  Sometimes I'll even have you enroll in a domestic violence program early so we can get the upper hand in the case in our efforts to bring you the best result.

So, if you need the best, pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  We will go over the court process step by step.  I'll tell you your role, and we will talk about what it will take to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.