Believe it not, now in Los Angeles county on these criminal cases, prosecutors are actually turning over criminal records of police officers, and sometimes this can be used to defend your client, especially if it's any type of a criminal record that involves lying.
That's going to be relevant to be able to impeach the officer at a preliminary hearing or at a trial or any type of testimony at a motion — a California Penal Code 1538.5 PC motion to suppress the evidence.
It really depends on what type of conviction the officer has, but I'm seeing cases get turned over all the time now. The prosecutors are really trying to distance themselves, especially from police officers who are doing dishonest things.
Impeach Police Officer's Credibility
Now, with the advent of the bodycam, dashcam video and some of these other technologies, prosecutors are realizing that the police are not always being truthful and honest in handling cases the right way.
So, they feel like they better make sure, in order to tip the scales in the right direction, to make sure that things are turned over to the defense that the defense might be able to use to impeach the officer.
To attack their credibility or assert some other legal argument depending on what the evidence is, especially if the police officer in the case is the main witness against your criminal defendant and now you're being given evidence that that police officer has actually committed a crime.
Case Example of Police Misconduct
I remember I had one case where a police officer had done something dishonest and the judge on the case basically told the prosecutor, listen, if you're going to use that officer to prove the case against Mr. Hedding's client, I'm going to tell you right now you're going to lose.
It was a situation where they had purportedly searched my client, found different things on him and he had made some incriminating statement.
My client was indicating, no he did not make an incriminating statement. He wasn't stupid enough to do that and the things they were claiming they found on him were not his.
So, that was a great example of them turning over good stuff that I could use to try to defend the client.
So, if you or a loved on is charged with a crime and you think you may have dirty police offices, there's also a Pitchess Motion that we could file, which is basically a motion to get the criminal past or any police reports or any complaints against a particular police officer(s) that are involved with your criminal case.
This is especially important if they're the main witnesses in the case, that Pitchess Motion is a crucial motion that can be used to get good information to be able to attack the officer's credibility and possibly win the case if the officer is the main witness against you.
So, you've come to the right place. I've been handling criminal cases now in Los Angeles county for the past 27 years. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a top-rated criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.
We represent clients throughout all Southern California Courts, including LA County, Orange County, Ventura County, Hollywood, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.