What Controls How Many Criminal Defense Cases Are Filed In LA County?
The biggest control of how many criminal cases are going to be filed this year in LA is the police. If the police are upset and they feel like they are being maligned in the media, they just stop arresting people. I know a lot of police officers and I’ve talked to them about the whole attitude in Los Angeles County when these videotapes come out accusing the police of beating people. Of course, I don’t know why they’re mad if they have videotapes of them doing it, but a lot of this is across the country and doesn’t have anything to do with Los Angeles. But they feel that they might get in trouble for their activities instead of just being more careful in what they do. What I’ve seen them do is just not arrest people.
Another thing they do when propositions are passing – especially all the drug and theft propositions – they stop arresting people as well because they are mad and saying that, we’re just going to arrest them and they’re going to let them go. Which of course, is an over-generalization. When people are committing real crimes and the prosecutors have the case, they’re going to prosecute it. Now, some of these drug cases where they were getting jail time and various other bad penalties have subsided to a big degree if it’s a small drug or theft case. But that’s not really the police’s business. They investigate the cases and then if they think someone has committed a crime and they have the evidence and witnesses for it, they give it to the prosecutors. It’s not their business whether the prosecutors prosecute it or what punishments the people are getting. They shouldn’t even be getting into all of that. They’re out there to protect and serve.
I see a huge slowing down in arrests over the course of the last few years based on the combination of police getting in trouble and these propositions that have passed that they feel have impacted what is happening to people when they are committing crimes. But again, that’s really not the police’s business. They should just be doing their jobs out there. It’s almost as though they have an attitude of, you want to get us in trouble? Well, then we’re just not going to arrest anybody and then you’ll see what happens in society.
What I’ve noticed recently though, is arrests are up and I think a big reason for that is because the police now feel comfortable because they have somebody in power in the White House who is supporting the police and is very positive towards the police. So, I think the police feel as though, since they have back-up and support, they can feel free to make arrests. So, it really is a cyclical thing where the police are ebbing and flowing what they’re doing, who their arresting, and fortunately for society, at least in my opinion, the pendulum has swung to protect those people who are purportedly committing crimes and the police now realize that there’s going to be ramifications if they’re going to beat people up in the name of, you didn’t listen to what I said so now you’re going to get it. Or, they’re just going to falsely arrest people without any evidence.
The police now have to be very careful of what they do because there are checks and balances on them. Juries now believe when there are allegations of the police manufacturing evidence or doing certain things that they are seeing in the news as true. So, I think it’s a good thing for society and the community because you cannot have the police too powerful, otherwise power shifts in a bad way and it leads to people being mistreated and not being dealt with in the right manner.
At this point in 2018 coming into 2019, I really see that the police are arresting a lot of people, are being tough on crime, but by the same token, a good criminal defense attorney can protect their client through all the various weapons that are available like videotape, witnesses and now a lot of time juries and even judges will believe some of the arguments that the defense makes as to what the police are doing that is inappropriate.