When Do Prosecutors File Domestic Violence Cases Versus Conducting A City Attorney Hearing?
When it comes to these domestic violence cases in LA, a lot of the cases fall by the way of a City Attorney hearing. Meaning, the prosecutors will send it to their City Attorney’s office. There’s usually hearing officers there. They’re usually not lawyers, but they work for the City Attorney’s office and basically what they’re doing is, they’re going to conduct a hearing. They’re going to listen to what each side has to say, and each side of course if entitled to have an attorney present, and then they’re going to pass the information on to the real City Attorneys who are lawyers and they’re going to make a decision on whether or not a case should be filed against one or both parties, sometimes, depending on the circumstances.
A lot of times when the City Attorney hearing occurs, they’re really angled towards and have an eye towards not filing a case. In other words, they don’t really want people to be prosecuted when they do a City Attorney hearing, and the reason why is because they see something wrong with the case. In other words, maybe there’s no injured. Maybe both parties were dangerous and reckless. Maybe it really doesn’t rise to the level of domestic violence-type behavior, which is very interesting, because I’ve got some cases that were filed and I really don’t think they rise to the level of domestic violence, and I’m shocked that they filed it. I’m shocked that they didn’t do a City Attorney hearing, and I’m telling the prosecutor about it. I’m saying you should send this back to the City Attorney hearing. I don’t know why you guys filed this case. I’ve had other cases where we do a City Attorney hearing that was much worse.
That’s another interesting thing. You’ll see cases where they do file the case. They don’t do a City Attorney hearing and you’re sitting there scratching your head as to why they’ve done it this way. So, this is where you’ve got to have a great criminal defense attorney because if they file a case against your criminal defense attorney can convince them to send it to a City Attorney hearing — bam — you’re in business. If on the other hand, your criminal defense attorney can get to them before they make the filing decision, and you get that City Attorney hearing, again you’re in a much stronger position to be able to be successful, not get a criminal conviction for domestic violence on your record, and move on with your life and not have the stigma of that conviction and also not have to do the 52-week domestic violence course that attendant with a domestic violence charge and also not lose your gun rights for ten years, and all the other different things that come along with that conviction for domestic violence.
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