The Van Nuys criminal court located at 14400 Erwin Street Mall Van Nuys, CA 91401 it is the biggest and main criminal court for the San Fernando Valley. With several judicial departments that handle felony, misdemeanor and traffic cases, the Van Nuys court manages thousands of cases per year.
One of the many benefits of hiring an experienced criminal attorney is having someone on your side that not only knows and understands the law of criminal defense but also knows his way around the different procedures in a particular court.
In this blog I will discuss one of the courts that I have appeared in over the last 20 plus years of practice countless times, the Van Nuys Court. Although nothing can replace the advice of an experienced criminal attorney with knowledge of the specific facts of your case, this blog is hopefully helpful in getting an understanding of how felony cases work in Van Nuys.
As I discuss in other blogs, the arraignment is usually the first appearance a person makes before a judge after he or she is arrested. In Van Nuys, felony arraignments are handled in Department 100 which is located on the third floor.
At the arraignment, the Defendant will usually plead not guilty to the charges and begin the process of mounting a defense. The judge will also decide whether or not to demand a person has to pay bail to be free while the case is pending.
The Preliminary Hearing
In Van Nuys Court, preliminary hearings are handled in either Department 112, 120 or 122. All three of these departments are dedicated exclusively to handling preliminary hearings and do not have other types of cases on calendar. It is quite common that these departments have several preliminary hearings in the Van Nuys court prelim departments in one day.
A brief way to describe a preliminary hearing is like a mini-trial. At the preliminary hearing the prosecutor will present some but not all of the evidence in the government's case against a Defendant. A more detailed account of preliminary hearings is found in other blog posts.
The Trial Departments
The remainder of the felony departments in Van Nuys court not mentioned above are trial departments. They are delineated by letter rather than number, for example Department N is a trial department in Van Nuys court. Once a case is assigned to a Van Nuys court trial department, it will generally stay there for the duration of the case. Meaning, the same court that hears all pre-trial hearings will also be the court that presides over a jury trial in Van Nuys court.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney is the Key
No matter what type of charge you or a loved one is facing, they key to a successful outcome is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle the criminal matter. Our offices are located 5 minutes from Van Nuys court and we regularly handle criminal cases in the Van Nuys court.
Vitaly Sigal is the principal and founder of the Sigal Law Group. He has extensive experience handling a wide variety of criminal cases, both state and federal. For a free no obligation consultation please contact the Sigal Law Group at818 325-0570. To contact Vitaly Sigal directly via email send your questions or inquiries here.