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Why Are Drug Cases Not Filed In Los Angeles At Arraignment?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Nov 05, 2018

This happens all the time in Los Angeles. I've been doing this for twenty-five years and the narcotic or drug cases in Los Angeles are not filed all the time by prosecutors and the main reason is it's the detective who are investigating these narcotic cases.

Either they've played it fast and loose so when they take the case into the prosecutors to evaluate, the prosecutors are looking at it putting their hands in the air and saying, you expect me to file this case? The defense attorney is going to attack this thing. They're going to file a motion. They're going to end up getting the case dismissed. You guys didn't tie up all the loose ends. You didn't do your job.

Late Paperwork

To me that really smacks of laziness. These guys are out there playing it fast and loose. They're lazy. They don't get their paperwork together. They have no respect to anybody. The real unfortunate and problematic thing about this is, when these guys play around like this, they'll arrest somebody for example, make them post a $50,000 bail, the person will show up and they can't file the case because the detectives have not done their job, they bring the paperwork in late, they haven't fully investigated the case.

So, now the case either gets put over for a couple of weeks or it gets rejected for a period of time and then the detectives do their job. Now they go out and re-arrest the person and the person has to post their bail all over again. It's ridiculous. It's frustrating and really, somebody needs to do something about it.

The bottom line is this – it's the realty of Los Angeles County right now. I'm going to cases all over LA county — narcotics, possession for sales, sales, even possession cases and they're not being filed and we have to go through this whole game where we're sitting in court the whole day, and a lot of times the client is looking at the defense lawyer like hey, what the heck's going on here?

But it's not the defense lawyer's fault. It's the system's fault for not saying to these detectives, stop arresting people if you don't have your act together. Stop playing it fast and loose. Do it the right way.

Retain a Lawyer

So, if you've got a narcotics case — a sales or a drug case — you need to get an attorney because an attorney is the only way to combat this and to kind of get your side of the story out there and fight back on your behalf, because without an attorney you're not going to be in a solid position to be able to defend your rights.

What I would suggest is that you hire the attorney and let the attorney deal with it. I deal with this all the time. I'm talking to the narcotics detectives, the prosecutors and a lot of times I have to go talk to the judge and say, Your Honor no, my client's not posting another bail.

They should be released on their own recognizance because it's not their fault that the case wasn't filed. So, we have to keep track of these cases. We have to make sure that our client's rights are defended properly. The only way to do that is through vigilance, hard work and knowing the system. A lot of times I will call these detectives up myself or I will talk to the liaison between the detectives and the prosecutors so I can find out exactly what's going on and properly represent my client.

A lot of times the prosecutors — because they don't have the paperwork because it hasn't been filed on time or because they sent it out for further investigation — they don't really have any control over these detectives and what they do. All they can do is react and say, this is what they did. There's nothing I can do about it. It's not my fault.

Same with the judges. A lot of the judges don't really have the power over the detectives to challenge them. So, the only way that you're going to be properly defended is if you've got an attorney who has done these drug or narcotics cases and knows that sometimes they don't get filed right away and there's certain things that need to be done in order to stay on the case – stay on top of the case.

Then, if something does happen, and this happens all the time, to be able to react to be able to properly defend your rights, your freedom, your reputation and all that is important to you.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.