There’s a new District Attorney in Los Angeles and with him comes New Policies
Many of us know that there is a new District Attorney in Los Angeles County. The District Attorney is the head prosecutor in the county where he was elected. He makes all decisions about filing misdemeanors and felonies committed within his county. Our new DA, George Gascon was elected on a campaign of liberal justice, striking prior convictions, striking enhancements for gangs, great bodily injury, guns, eliminating life sentences and never asking for the death penalty.
I have already seen the effect of the new District Attorney on my cases. Just this week I had a man charged with 16 different residential burglaries and 20 firearms violations who was looking at over 30 years in prison. The police were investigation additional, uncharged burglaries. He is also currently charged with a separate residential burglary case in San Bernardino County. Wednesday, the DA agreed to a plea to one count and 4 years in prison. I know a lot of lawyers like to brag on their websites about getting cases dismissed. I don’t brag. I tell it like it really is. My guy was facing at least double that amount of time in prison. Prior to the new DA policies, I would have been lucky to get a single digit offer for this client.
Today, I talked to a different DA about a different case. My client is charged with a violent sex offense, along with a residential burglary and other charges. He has been to prison 3 times and has multiple strike priors, including 2 robberies. On the next court date, the DA is striking my client’s strikes and his 5 year prior. I made an offer of 4 years to a non-sex offense on a life case. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
There has already been a lot of pushback on Gascon’s new policies. I have seen multiple judges refuse to enforce some of the new policies. This week, I saw one judge refuse to strike a great bodily injury enhancement in a felony DUI case. After the judge refused to strike the enhancement, the courtroom DA sought to file an amended complaint – new charges to conform to the DA’s policy. The same judge refused to accept the new filing.
Local media is now reporting that Gascon has already backed off his blanket policy of striking priors and enhancements. Now he is indicating that he will allow his prosecutors to use some discretion in cases where there are particularly vulnerable victims. These cases include sex offenses, elder abuse, human trafficking and some others, possibly even some white collar crimes.
At this point, it is hard to tell how things in Los Angeles County will shake out. I know I have clients who are currently in custody that are seeking resentencing under the policies. One client will likely benefit by having a ten year firearm enhancement dismissed and be given credit for time served and released.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
If you or someone close to you is facing or has been convicted of criminal charges including enhancements for strikes, gangs, great bodily injury or any other criminal enhancement, call a lawyer who knows is ready, willing and able to run into court and get things done under the new policies. Call me:
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to meeting you in San Fernando Court!
Please visit my sites for more information:
www.4criminaldefense.com or www.westlakecriminaldefense.com