I've been practicing now in the Pomona courthouse defending clients in criminal matters for the past 26 years. They have their own little system there. Pretty much most of the felony cases run through Dept. F. That's their hub court.
You come there. You enter our not-guilty plea and you stay in Dept. F until you actually set the case for preliminary hearing. The day that your case is set for preliminary hearing, you come to Dept. F and then they will find an open preliminary hearing court.
Preliminary Hearing and Trial Court
Same thing after the preliminary hearing you're going to be sent back to Dept. F and await trial and eventually you'll be sent out to a trial court if your case goes to trial in a felony criminal case in the Pomona Superior Court.
While you're sitting in Dept. F, obviously you can file motions which we do sometimes, and usually the motions are probably going to be sent out to be heard in one of the other courtrooms. Again Dept. F is operating as kind of a hub court.
So, those people who are worried about who the judge is in Dept. F really don't need to worry about that because your attorney is usually going to be negotiating with the District Attorney's office. They're the ones that filed the case. They're the ones that can change the charges in the case, so any negotiating or plea bargaining is typically done with the District Attorney's office.
Negotiation with Prosecutor
There are some exceptions where you want to get a judge involved in the negotiation and try and convince the judge that the prosecutors are not being fair or not being reasonable, and therefore, the judge should intervene and give a resolution that's more favorable to your client.
So you really need to know the lay of the land. The District Attorney's office for many years in the Pomona court had been known as one of the toughest District Attorney's office and I don't really know the answer to that.
My speculation is — having done it for a long time — is that Pomona is an area where there is a high volume of crime, so I think the mentality of the District Attorney's office there was that they really had to be tough on crime in order to try to quell what's going on over there as far as people committing crimes and doing things that they shouldn't do.
So, at this point as I write this post in 2020 I'm kind of giving you a little peek of the inner workings of the Pomona courthouse as it relates to criminal cases, but of course they do civil cases as well. However, I mainly do criminal defense so that's what I'm zeroing in on and as I speak now, the management for the District Attorney's office in my opinion is pretty reasonable.
It definitely can be worked with and you can discuss cases with them, which is important because if you don't have that it makes it very difficult to resolve criminal cases in Pomona or anywhere.
Developing Defense Strategy for Best Outcome
So, if you have a case in the Pomona case, you've come to the right place. I have some good strategies depending on exactly what you're charged with as far as dealing with the prosecutors and if the case does have to go to trial, I think it can be a pretty good jury pool there if you pick the right jurors.
There is a group of conservative jurors that you probably want to stay away from. If you see that jurors are not going to be fair and impartial in your case and you want to try it in the Pomona courthouse, obviously you're going to have to come up with a strategy to be able to prevent them from being able to rule on your case.
You're certainly entitled in any jury trial, in Pomona or anywhere else, that if you don't think a juror is going to be fair in your case, you just don't choose that juror. You pick somebody else who you think will be fair and impartial. So, if you've got a case in Pomona, pick up the phone. Make the call. We'll talk about it and get a good game plan together for you.
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.