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Life-Altering Robbery Charge Dismissed

Recently, my client was charged with Home Invasion Robbery (First Degree Robbery), a violation of Penal Code Section 211. The client had no meaningful criminal record.  When I met the young man in jail, he faced a life-altering violent felony offense.

I quickly shifted into gear by involving the client in his own defense. I met with the client in jail and learned facts and circumstances about the case which were clearly unknown to law enforcement. I then commissioned a seasoned investigator to hunt down critical defense witnesses to expose the truth.

We ultimately turned our defense investigation over to the District Attorney.  We gave them the truth!  The District Attorney agreed to alter the charges in a manner that will allow my client to obtain a MISDEMEANOR after one year. The client and his family are ecstatic over the outcome. They should be! A violent felony conviction can be devasating to a person’s job and educational goals. The young man can now move forward to accomplish all of his hopes and dreams in life.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is an extremely aggressive law enforcement agency. However, prosecutors will amend a criminal complaint in the interests of justice. Prosectors will either dismiss or reduce criminal charges once they lose confidence in the strength of their case.  This is exactly what happened in our case.

Involving Clients In Their Own Defense

Attorneys must involve clients in their own defense.  It is my practice to do the following:

(1) I immediately request all police reports, audio tapes, photographs and other critical documents from the prosecutor’s office.  The items are sometimes collectively referred to as the “Discovery Package.”

(2) I will determine what items are missing from the Discovery Package and request them from the District Attorney.

(3) As required by law, I will “redact” all victim and witness contact information from the Discovery Package and send a redacted copy to my client.

(4) I ask my clients to carefully review all discovery items and make detailed notes about what is missing, or what is inaccurate in the reports.

(5) I involve the client in the development of our defense strategy.  Clients have critical insight into witnesses, the layout of particular locations, and other facts that may make all the difference.

(6)  If necessary, I will commission a professional investigator to hunt down defense witnesses, or to determine if prosecution witnesses have been truthful.

(7) I will research all legal issues and inform the client of my case-related analysis.

(8) Ultimately,I will execute our defense strategy in motions, preliminary hearings and trial.

About the Author:

I am a former Supervising Prosecutor in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.  I am also an adjunct faculty member at the prestigious Pepperdine University School of Law.  I have tried every type of criminal case ranging from misdemeanor domestic violence to capital murder.  If you or a loved one find yourself charged with a criminal offense in Ventura County, I have the skills and experience to give you the best possible chance for a succesful outcome in court.  You may contact me by email at bill@billhaneylaw.com or by telephone at (805) 585-0048.

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