What EDP Or Early Disposition Court Means In A Los Angeles Criminal Case?
When it comes to criminal cases, as a criminal defense attorney, obviously you have to know all the ins-and-outs of how to deal with a criminal case. If you have a criminal case where the police and the prosecutors have done their due diligence and they have good evidence against your client, and ultimately your client is going to end up having to plead guilty or no contest, sometimes it might be a good idea to direct the case into the Early Disposition or EDP Court in whatever courthouse your case is pending in Los Angeles. Most of the courthouses in LA have this EDP Court.
Basically, what it is designed for is a case that is going to be resolved. They are supposed to offer the best offers there – whether it be the District Attorney, the Judge, the City Attorney, and basically, if you’re going to go into the Early Disposition Court, you’re going in there with an eye towards resolving your case. So, they’re going to assign a prosecutor or prosecutors, depending on how busy the courthouse is – who all they do is deal with EDP cases. Again, they’re supposed to be offering the best deals, but what I find a lot in Los Angeles County throughout the courts is that a lot of these prosecutors are not really offering good deals, are not reasonable and if you have the type of case as a criminal defense attorney where somebody really needs to look at it, check the facts of it, do some investigation on it – it’s not likely going to be the EDP Early Disposition Deputy District Attorney in the court. They’re just too busy, overwhelmed and a lot of times they’re just too lazy to look into the case and look at the facts of the case. They’re just like a bill moving through the cases.
There are circumstances when it helps you. Perfect example would be the downtown criminal court or the Clara Foltz courthouse. They have an EDP program. It’s Division 50. The judge in there is very reasonable and he realizes that most of the cases in the county are filed in that courthouse and if they don’t have an EDP program that works successfully, they’re going to be overrun with cases very quickly. So, he undercuts the prosecutors all the time. I think that’s a great system there because it really takes care of cases that need to be taken care of.
If you can’t use the EDP court and it’s not the right prosecutor there or not the right case to use, as a defense attorney, you have to say, what is the next move going to be? You have to move it out of that court. Maybe do the preliminary hearing and do some damage to the prosecutor’s case and you just have to realize, EDP is not right for my case. It’s not going to yield the best result. Especially if you have a case where you have to do some motions. You have to show the prosecutors they could lose the case. If there’s some sort of a legal search, you probably don’t want to move your case in the EDP court because they are not designed to deal with those type of issues.
They are supposed to be designed to resolve cases.
Another thing that I look at – if I’m being honest – I look at the prosecutor that they have running the EDP court. If the prosecutor or prosecutors in there are not reasonable, too harsh, not fair – and if you have the judge not getting involved in the cases where the judge won’t undercut them – then maybe that’s not the best EDP program. Maybe you need to take a different approach and just skip the EDP court altogether, and I do that in a lot of cases in Los Angeles County and I get to a prosecutor that is fair-minded, reasonable and is going to take some time to look at the case and consider our arguments. So, I don’t always go to the EDP court. I don’t think all defense attorneys do. If you have a case pending in the criminal court and you’re wondering is the EDP court for me, obviously your best bet is to get in front of a great criminal defense attorney who has dealt with cases in the particular court that they’re using as the EDP court, knows what prosecutors are in there, knows whether they’re fair, knows whether they’re going to be harsh with your case or not, and also knows the judge, because a lot of times the judges can help out these EDP courts and give a good resolution on the case that the prosecutor simply refused to give.
You just have to remember. The judge controls the sentence, but the prosecutor controls the charges. So, where you can run into a problem in trying to use the judge is if the charges are charges that carry with them a mandatory minimum. For example, attempted murder is fifteen to life. So, the judge can’t dismiss that because he or she doesn’t control the charges, so the best sentence that a judge could give is fifteen to life. That doesn’t help you. So, then you have to go to the DA’s boss and try to get the boss to get rid of the attempted murder and give a different crime that doesn’t carry fifteen to life.
So, it’s a little bit complex for somebody that hasn’t been doing it for a long time, but for those criminal defense attorneys that know what they’re doing, have been down the road you’re about to travel, those are the ones you want to get in front of and let them sit down and talk to you about your case and figure out a good game plan, and whether the EDP court is best for you or not.
For more information on EDP Or Early Disposition Court in LA, a free initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 374-3952 today.
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