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Process of Prefiling Intervention – Getting Criminal Charges Dropped After Arrest

Prefiling Intervention to get criminal charges dropped

Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have helped numerous clients to be exonerated before court - after they have been arrested - for charges of domestic violence (Penal Code Section 273.5), DUI, sex offenses (Penal Code Section 261.5, 288, 311.11), drug possession and trafficking, and even murder. In fact, we had a father and son surrender on murder charges, and after our investigation, they were released 48 hours later. We have successfully advocated for charges to be dropped for visiting college students (rape allegations), foreign couples (domestic violence arrests), doctors (domestic violence), high-profile individuals (rape, and domestic violence allegations), and other white-collar professionals. The process of causing arrest charges to be dropped keeps a person’s record “clean” pursuant to California Penal Code Section 849.5, causing an arrest to be legally considered a “detention” only. Many defendants or family members who are finding themselves in the unfortunate position of interacting with law enforcement and the criminal justice system more generally mistakenly believe that an arrest is synonymous with a criminal charge, and that nothing can be done before the first court date. Typically, a first-time offender will bail out on either a felony or misdemeanor charge and be given a notice to appear in a courthouse thirty days, or even longer, down the road. This is the time to intervene with our law firm’s advocacy. If you have been accused of a crime, your next step can be critical to outcome of your case. Early intervention by our top-ranked criminal defense attorneys is crucial. Timing is very important and we need to review the details of your case immediately in order to determine your best legal options moving forward. Remain silent, don’t answers any questions from law enforcement. Rather, call our law firm right away so we can closely examine the specific details to start building an effective defense strategy.

 

Specialist in Prefiling Intervention

Eisner Gorin LLP specializes in a process known as “prefiling intervention,” which consists of advocacy with law enforcement and prosecuting agencies to try to reduce charges or even have them dropped completely before the first court date.

 

To achieve a successful prefiling intervention, we partner with our clients to assemble the facts which led to the arrest, the surrounding circumstances, and, critically, the significant mitigating factors which contextualize the alleged conduct. In some cases, with the assistance of a private investigator, we locate witnesses, videos, and other exculpatory evidence to build the defense case. There may be legally significant issues of proof that must be highlighted to show that a case cannot be successfully prosecuted against our client beyond a reasonable doubt. In other cases, the facts are not in question but there are critical contextual details which mitigate, meaning to make less serious, our client’s alleged conduct.

 

Getting Your Case Dropped Is Our Goal

Often times, a police report may be incomplete. A witness may have been missed, or relevant physical evidence not recovered by crime scene investigators. Our goal is to present all material facts to the government before court to help the arrest offense be dropped. A person should not be judged based on a small period in their life, but rather on their entire background, character, and witness statements.

 

In many cases, there will be both issues of proof and significant mitigating factors. Once we assemble the necessary information with the help of our clients, we are ready to present a formal written position to law enforcement and the prosecuting agencies. In a typical prefiling intervention, we will present several legal positions to the government, as we develop the facts of the case. The arguments raise reasonable doubt, showing that the charges will not be proven to a jury and the case should not be formally filed in court.

 

Timing is Critical in Prefiling Intervention

An important procedural point which is commonly misunderstood is critical to understanding the value of a prefiling intervention. Suppose that you or a family member is arrested by law enforcement, who inform you that it is a “felony arrest.” You may reasonably assume this means you are a now charged with a felony in criminal court. In reality, however, the process is more complex. Many arrests are referred to a detective in a specialized unit, such as domestic violence or sex crimes, for further investigation. The detective has discretion to present the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office as a felony, or to drop the case for lack of evidence. Even once the case goes to the prosecutor, it can be rejected for prosecution, reduced to a lesser offense, or set for an informal office hearing. In prefiling intervention, therefore, time is of the essence. The key is to intervene with the appropriate decision makers prior to a formal filing decision.

 

Real Case Result of Prefiling Intervention

The following example is taken from an actual case in which we achieved our prefiling intervention objectives for our client. Names and certain identifying details are omitted to preserve our clients’ privacy. In one recent case, client and his estranged wife continued to live in the same residence. One night, fueled by alcohol consumption and jealousy over the erroneous belief that her husband had begun an affair with a new girlfriend, the estranged wife called law enforcement and claimed that client had assaulted her and her friend in the shared residence. The estranged wife claimed significant injuries including choking as well as property damage in the house. Law enforcement arrested our client at the scene on felony domestic violence charges, and he was required to post a bail bond before being released from custody.

 

Our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm was retained within 48 hours of client’s release to conduct a prefiling intervention. We took detailed statements from client focusing on the alleged victim’s motivations to lie, her alcohol consumption, relevant third-party witnesses, and the issues of proof. Notably, we were informed about the alleged victim’s claims of specific injuries and property damage which were unsupported by the objective evidence in the case. After several written and verbal contacts with law enforcement and the prosecuting agency reviewing the case, charges were dropped completely before court. Our client was never charged, much less convicted, of any crime despite being initially arrested for a felony. His record stayed clean!

 

Reduced Charges Through Prefiling Intervention

Sometimes, a reduced offense is achieved through prefiling intervention. In another recent case, client, a college student, was arrested by law enforcement after a psychedelic trip which left her belligerent and incoherent. She allegedly assaulted several of the officers at the scene and was arrested for a felony. We were immediately retained to conduct a prefiling intervention. In this case, unlike the previous example, the actual conduct was not at issue. There were multiple witnesses who established that client resisted arrest and assaulted the officers.

 

However, what the police officers could not have known at the time was that client was experiencing a drug trip after having been given a psychoactive substance by another party-goer which she was mistakenly told was LSD. In fact, the substance had an immediate and much more debilitating effect on her which left her with the mistaken belief that the officers who arrived to break up the party were trying to kill her. In her panicked state, client had lashed out. She had no conscious desire to injure the officers. Through prefiling intervention advocacy with the prosecuting agency, charges were reduced before court to misdemeanors. While client still had to defend herself against a criminal offense, the reduction of charges from felonies to misdemeanors provided her with a significant benefit which she would not likely have obtained if she simply waited for the first court date. Not having felony charges filed was a major accomplishment.

 

Additional Real Case Results

Here are additional examples of cases that have been reduced or dropped after arrest or before court:

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client charged with possession of drugs for sale. Case dismissed.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client arrested for sexual assault. Case rejected.

 

Eastlake Superior Court: Client arrested for child molestation. Case rejected.

 

LAX Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

Downtown Criminal Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client charged with drug possession. Case dismissed after DEJ.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client arrested for rape. Case rejected.

 

Burbank Superior Court: Client arrested for rape. Case rejected.

 

Pasadena Superior Court: Client charged with sexual battery and dissuading witness requiring mandatory sex offender registration. Charges reduced to simple battery, dissuading witness, No Penal Code 290 registration.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client charged with driving under the influence. Reduced to public intoxication.

 

Pomona Superior Court: Client charged with drug possession. Case dismissed after DEJ.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

Torrance Superior Court: Client charged with DUI and evading police and was facing California state prison time. Case settled for probation only.

 

Newport Beach Court: Client arrested for felony commercial burglary. Case reduced to misdemeanor and dismissed after diversion.

 

Orange County Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client charged with robbery with a gun and facing California state prison time. Case settled for probation only.

LAX Superior Court: Client charged with drug possession for sales after police raided his home and found drugs, money, and a gun. Case was dismissed after a successful motion to suppress evidence.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client charged with assault. Found not guilty.

 

Downtown Criminal Court: Client arrested for felony assault with great bodily injury. Case dismissed.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client charged with marijuana cultivation of over 100 plants. Case settled for probation with no jail time.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client charged with drug possession for sales. Case dismissed after DEJ.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client arrested with drug possession for sales. Case rejected.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client charged with 4 counts of attempted murder of police officers and facing 4 life sentences. Case settled for 10 years in prison.

 

Downtown Criminal Court: Client charged with arson, grand theft auto, and vandalism. Case settled for probation with no jail time.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client charged with DUI murder and was facing life in a California state prison. Case settled for 10 years at half time.

 

Los Angeles Superior Court: Client arrested for rape. Case rejected.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

Alhambra Superior Court: Client arrested for child abuse. Case rejected.

 

Van Nuys Superior Court: Client arrested for domestic violence. Case rejected.

 

LAX Superior Court: Client charged with domestic violence. Case dismissed.

 

San Fernando Superior Court: Client charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. Case reduced to misdemeanor with no jail time.

 

LAX Superior Court: Client charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon. Case settled as an infraction.

 

Downtown Criminal Court: Client charged with prostitution. Case settled for trespassing.

 

Contact our Criminal Defense Law Firm

Eisner Gorin LLP is a boutique criminal defense firm in Los Angeles, CA which practices in State courts throughout California and in federal courts around the United States. We exclusively practice criminal defense and have over 60 years combined experience in prefiling interventions, court representation, and jury trials. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley. We have two office locations: 1875 Century Park E #705, Los Angeles, CA 90067 and 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401. If you or a family member is under investigation or has been charged with a crime, contact our law firm at 877-781-1570 to discuss your legal options.

 

Related Resources:
Los Angeles County Criminal Courts
Los Angeles District Attorney's Office
Los Angeles City Attorney's Office
Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department