Nicole Valera – Criminal Defense

Fighting the system, one case at a time…

Criminal Defense Pet Peeves.


One of my biggest pet peeves as a criminal defense attorney is when some prosecutors think that just because a defendant has the opportunity to get a case dismissed through a deferred entry of judgment program, that they shouldn’t fight the case.

What I mean is this: In the criminal defense world in california there are drug programs where once successfully completed, can lead to dismissal. One of them being PC 1000, or DEJ (Deferred Entry of Judgment). If the client is eligible, after taking approximately 20 weeks of classes and staying out of trouble for 18 months, the court will dismiss the case. Sounds great, right? Most of the time it is, and I have seen many clients benefit from such programs. HOWEVER, I can’t STAND when I have a drug possession case where the stop is bad, meaning illegal under the 4th Amendment and prevailing case law, and the prosecutors think that my client should just take the deal.

Why should my client have to do a program AT ALL when he was stopped and searched illegally? Why should my client roll over when THE PROSECUTORS have the burden to prove that the warrantless search was legal? And the best part is that when I challenge the stop and the subsequent search, I get eyes rolled at me, called up to the bench and asked, “Why are we doing this motion?”

I personally think that questions should not be directed at me as the criminal defense attorney, but rather the prosecutor whose burden it is to prove the legality of the search. BUT, if i have to answer that question, here’s my answer:

The reason I am challenging the validity of the search on behalf of my client is due to the fact that they have the constitutional right to be protected from illegal search and seizures. We ALL enjoy that right. I view it as my responsibility to challenge injustices wherever they exist, whether it is in a simple marijuana possession case, or a complex murder case.

And I will NOT advise a client to roll over and take a deal out of convenience for the court.

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Minor Infractions | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Protestors came out against new skid row


Protestors came out against new skid row injunction, saying it criminalized the homeless. Trutanich suggested protestors were drug dealers. http://ow.ly/1vSSi

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not sure why anyone thinks that ANOTHER


Not sure why anyone thinks that ANOTHER injunction will work in LA. Seems political and not practical. Thoughts? http://ow.ly/1vSPY

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you find yourself arrested, or under


If you find yourself arrested, or under investigation, DON’T SAY ANYTHING. Of the hundreds, if not thousands of police reports I’ve read, making a statement rarely helps and usually just makes the situation worse. Remain calm, don’t say anything, and wait to speak with a good criminal defense attorney.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking at my calender for the week – ha


Looking at my calender for the week – have a drug possession case and a DUI on calender, plus a whole lot of other criminal defense motions to research and write.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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