What Happens When The Prosecutors Reject A Criminal Filing in LA County?
This happens all the time. Either the District Attorney or the City Attorney will reject the filing and not file a criminal case. It’s very troubling because they end up arresting somebody. The police are citing them in. A lot of times people have to post a bail. They hire an attorney and we show up in court and there’s nothing filed. Ultimately, after waiting there a number of hours, it’s determined that either the District Attorney’s office or the City Attorney’s office has rejected the case.
If it’s the District Attorney’s office, they can reject a case and send it to the City Attorney. The City Attorney can decide whether to file a misdemeanor against the criminal defendant. If it’s the City Attorney, typically when they reject a case that’s the end of it. However, sometimes both prosecuting agencies can reject a case and later file it. That’s why, obviously, when we show up and we find out that a case is rejected in one of the Los Angeles courts, we’re asking what was the reason it was rejected and has it been referred anywhere and has it been rejected for further investigation?
If it’s rejected for further investigation that means that it’s not completely rejected and a case could be brought back up again. Likely what happened was, the investigator, the detective or the police met with the prosecutor. The prosecutor reviewed the evidence that they have and said, you’re missing some pieces here. We need to know more information. Here’s what we want you to do, and the prosecutors will specifically tell them – we want you to investigate this thing. We want you to go get this piece of evidence, talk to this witness. In other words, the prosecutors are the attorneys. They’re going to have to put the case on and they know once they put the case on, the defense is going to come and attack their case. So, if they don’t feel strong about the case, if they see things are missing, there are loopholes – they’re going to send the investigators back out or they’re going to say, we’re not filing this case because the defense is going to attack it. They’re going to win the case. We’re going to waste time, resources and money, and so we’re not moving forward with the case until certain things are done.
Sometimes they look at the case and say, there’s really nothing else you can do on this case. We’re not filing it. We’re rejecting it and that’s the end of it. So, if you have a matter that’s been rejected, obviously talk to your attorney about it. I get cases all the time. I’m not just going to settle for it was rejected. We’re going to go talk to the prosecutors and find out what happened and see to why it was rejected. Sometimes they won’t give us the full reason, but maybe we can get some sort of an indication. Other times, they reject it and they’re going to do further investigation on the case. I try to pinpoint – what investigation are they going to try to do? I’ve actually done investigation myself on whatever issue they were zeroing in on. So, I could provide them the other side of the story. The other side of the coin so they would keep it rejected and not bring it back. I could say, we ‘ve done the research. Look what we found. You’re going to lose this case. We’ve got evidence that does not support a prosecution in this case. In fact, it supports that our client is innocent. You cannot prove that our client did anything wrong.
So, this whole concept of rejecting a case is a little bit of a murky issue in Los Angeles. I’ve been dealing with it for twenty-five years and I see all kinds of crazy stuff going on. The bottom line is, you want to have an attorney with you. You want your attorney to be the one dealing with the prosecutors to make sure that that case gets rejected and it stays rejected.
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