I've been handling criminal cases in the Lancaster courthouse now for 26 years, so I have a pretty good feel for how these cases are handled. The current courthouse is a relatively new courthouse built within the last five years.
What you really you should do is sit down with your attorney to give you the step by step, but I can kind of give you a general step by step, and obviously if you need help because you have a criminal case in the Lancaster court, pick up the phone and make the call. I stand at the ready to help you. I can help you decide whether you should fight or negotiate your criminal case.
Parking, Entering, and Checking in with Clerk
Basically, the courthouse opens at 8:00 a.m., so you want to get there early because it's a fairly busy courthouse, although there is a lot of parking in the parking lot and the parking is free, which is great. They don't charge some astronomical rate to park.
You're going to have to go through the metal detector, so obviously don't bring anything in there that could be perceived as any type of a weapon. Don't bring any lighters in there.
Clear your pockets. Just get rid of everything except for your I.D. and things that you feel that you need — your telephone, and obviously, make sure you turn your telephone off. You don't want it to go off in the court. They'll take it away from there. So, I would get there early.
When you enter the Lancaster courthouse, there are some TV sets that have all the cases for that day in alphabetical order. So, if you don't know which courtroom your case is in, you can go to the TV set, find your name and it will say which department your case is set for and obviously, you want to go to the department.
A lot of the departments, particularly in the Lancaster court, don't let the people into the department until it's actually time to call your case. Also, on the fourth floor there's more serious cases held there so they have a second security checkpoint there. Just be careful that you don't have anything that can be perceived as a weapon and you won't have any issues.
Arraignment and Bail
Check-in with the court. Your case will be called and dealt with. Why it's so important to have an attorney is because Lancaster court is pretty conservative and they have a lot of action going through there, so they don't tend to be helpful to anybody and they will be harsh.
Sometimes they'll raise your bail at the time of your arraignment. So, let's say you posted a $50,000 bail, the prosecutor decides they want to raise it to $100,000 and they present justification for that to the judge.
The next thing you know you're being taken into custody and if you don't have your own private attorney there to battle it out for you, a public defender is going to have to deal with it right there on the spot without having had the benefit that your private attorney would to know all about the case going into the court date.
They're going to find out about it on the fly and a lot of times that's too late for you. You've now been taken into custody and you're going to have to re-post additional bail, or you just stay in there while the case is pending.
Lancaster Criminal Defense Lawyer
So, that's so important why it's so important to go in there with your own private defense attorney if you have a case in the Lancaster courthouse. They really try to move the cases quickly in the courthouse. Learn how long it takes to resolve a criminal case in the Lancaster Courthouse.
I think the reason for that is because they have a lot of cases there because Lancaster courthouse serves such a big population and it's one of the only courts for quite a number of miles around.
So, they have to make sure they don't get their court system clogged up with a lot of cases, so they're going to move them quickly, and obviously, you want to hire an attorney there to handle things for you to make sure you don't get swept up, taken advantage of and end up in jail or prison or with some other terms and conditions that you don't deserve.
So, if you have a case in the Lancaster court you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Make the call and we'll get the ball moving in the right direction.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We are also located at 633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.