Spolin Law P.C. Wins Case in California Court of Appeal

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 12:57 pm    

Earlier today the California Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Spolin Law P.C. on an appeal that will have lasting positive effects on one of the firm’s clients.


A Spolin Law client was accused of a homicide crime based on a killing that occurred when the 17-year-old female client was confronted by an adult gang member.  The prosecution filed a motion seeking to move the case to adult court.  Aaron Spolin, representing the minor, opposed the motion.  After an approximately two-week hearing, the juvenile court judge ruled in favor of the Spolin Law client and found her “fit” for juvenile court.

The ruling was significant because the client would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison in adult court.  Instead, now in juvenile court, the client faces a maximum sentence of seven years in a juvenile rehabilitative facility.  Juvenile court is also focused primarily on rehabilitation.

To read about the original juvenile judge’s decision, click here: “Minor Charged with Homicide Crime Found ‘Fit’ for Juvenile Court.”


The prosecution appealed the judge’s decision to the California Court of Appeal.  Specifically, they filed a “petition for a writ of mandate” asking the court to overturn the original juvenile judge’s decision.  Prosecution appeals are extremely rare because juveniles charged with homicide crimes are almost always sent to adult court; this case was a rare exception.

The Court of Appeal was faced with two legal issues.

  1. What effect did the recent Proposition 57 have on how juveniles should be evaluated in deciding whether to send them to adult court?
  2. Did the juvenile court judge “abuse her discretion” in keeping the minor in juvenile court?

The prosecution argued that Proposition 57 (passed by California voters in November of 2016) did not change the criteria for evaluating minors, and that the juvenile court judge in this case had abused her discretion.  Spolin Law’s opposition brief argued that Proposition 57 had substantively changed the law in key areas and that the judge’s decision was supported by the defense evidence presented.

The stakes were high for the Spolin Law client.  If the prosecution had won the appeal, the client would have been sent to adult court where she would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison (instead of the current juvenile court maximum of effectively seven years).

Announcing their decision this morning, the California Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the Spolin Law client.  They denied the prosecution’s petition and are allowing the case to proceed in juvenile court.  This means that the client will remain in juvenile court.  

Given the circumstances of the case and the unique background of the client, this was an eminently fair outcome.  The client will now be in the juvenile court system, which has a primary focus on rehabilitation.

(Update 1/1/2019: The prosecution ended up appealing this issue to the California Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court eventually denied the prosecution’s petition and thereby effectively ruled in favor of the Spolin Law client. To read about the subsequent events in this case, read the updated article posted here.)

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Appeals Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal appeals attorney, has a track record of success handling criminal cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron or any of the other appeals attorneys at Spolin Law P.C., please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

The Criminal Bail Reform Movement’s Next Steps

Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 9:14 am    

On July 20th, 2017, Senators Kamala Harris (CA-D) and Rand Paul (KY-R) announced that they had teamed up to write a bipartisan bill on bail reform. Bail systems across the country have been subjects of contention for many years. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the Constitution prohibits “punishing a person for his poverty,” many U.S. states currently have policies in place which keep those who cannot afford bail in jail for extended periods of time before their trial. Oftentimes, the amount of bail money required greatly exceeds the means of an average American citizen – even for petty crimes, like shoplifting. Those who are wealthy, however, are able to avoid pretrial incarceration, even if they pose greater flight risks for more severe crimes. Additionally, Senators Harris and Rand highlight some of the other consequences of our current bail system in their article, such as the disparate impact on black and Latino defendants, many of whom are required to pay significantly larger sums for bail. In order to solve this problem, the senators have introduced the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act.  Under the bill, each state would receive a grant from the Department of Justice, in order to “carry out the most effective policies, tailored for its needs.” In return, the states will have to provide better data collection on the pretrial process, as well as progress reports, in order to ensure that the practices are not discriminatory in nature.

These senators are not the only legislators who have attempted to overhaul the bail system. In Maryland, the Court of Appeals determined that it is unconstitutional to hold a defendant in jail for no reason other than an inability to afford bail. While this does not eliminate the use of money bail, it does make it necessary to first take into account the individual flight risk. In Texas, the State Supreme Court determined that money bail should only be used in the “narrowest of cases” for people charged with misdemeanors. Instead, judges can order supervision tools, such as GPS monitoring or drug testing. In the California State Legislature, Assembly Bill 42 has been proposed, which would end the use of money bail schedules, instead requiring the use of pretrial services agencies. This has been met with opposition from Republican lawmakers, however, who have asserted that the state would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reimburse counties for establishing these new pretrial services. In addition to Republican lawmakers, several interest groups, such as bail bond agents, have been staunchly opposed to the measures passing across the country. In New Jersey, where voters supported a measure which nearly eliminated cash bail, bail bondsmen are planning to sue Gov. Chris Christie.

California is in particular need of a solution, as the state’s median bail rate is five time higher than that of the rest of the country. The Human Rights Watch has analyzed California data and has found many troubling statistics. Over 63 percent of prisoners in county jails have not been sentenced, but are serving time because they cannot afford to pay bail. Racial disparities are common as well – for example, black people are nine times as likely to suffer pretrial incarceration than white people in San Francisco. This standard of pretrial incarceration is costing the Californian taxpayer, as well. According to Human Rights Watch analysis from 2014-2015, California spent $37.5 million in six counties jailing people whose cases were dismissed or never filed. Of the almost 1.5 million felony arrests in California from 2011-2015, 459,847 were not guilty of a crime. Currently, most defendants rely on bail bondsmen to be released. The system allows defendants to pay bail in one of three ways: They can pay the full amount, 10 percent of the actual bail amount, or they can schedule a payment plan in order to get out of detention. The bail bond payment is not refundable, however – even if the case is dismissed.  These numbers make a compelling argument for why bail reform must be pushed forward.

While some lawmakers may be troubled by the initial cost of implementing pretrial service agencies, the eventual savings should lead to long-term benefits. By incorporating a model for pretrial risk assessment, we can better identify those who pose an actual flight risk, as well as a danger to others, and allow the rest to go free. GPS monitoring could also be incorporated as an alternative measure, in order to allow those who pose no real threat to continue caring for their families and paying their bills. Senator Harris and Senator Rand have come up with a promising alternative to the controversial bail system. The Pretrial Safety and Integrity Act allows each state to tailor its system as it sees fit, whether that be by implementing a risk assessment model, or limiting pretrial incarceration to felons. This bill is the right step in the direction of eliminating discriminatory practices and unconstitutionally expensive bail.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Los Angeles County Bail Schedules – Felony and Misdemeanor

Posted on Monday, July 17th, 2017 at 6:23 pm    

Los Angeles County maintains a “schedule” (i.e., a list) of the amount of bail recommended for various criminal charges.  You can use these lists to look up how much bail your judge will likely offer.  You should also know that bail is not always set at the amount listed in the schedule; sometimes the judge will set a higher or lower bail amount and may offer “OR release” without bail.  Spolin Law P.C.’s Complete Guide to Bail explains how bail is set and how to fight for a lower bail amount.

Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule PDF:

Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule

Los Angeles County Misdemeanor and Infraction Bail Schedule PDF:

Los Angeles County Infraction and Misdemeanor Bail Schedule

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Los Angeles Times Discusses Spolin Law P.C. Advocacy in Front-Page Article

Posted on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 at 7:15 am    

The Los Angeles Times discussed Spolin Law P.C.’s advocacy for a former client in an article published on May 31, 2017.

The article, featured on the front page of the newspaper and continued on page A9, described criminal proceedings initiated against a former Spolin Law P.C. client. The newspaper described accusations against the client levied by law enforcement, what occurred at the client’s arraignment, and Aaron Spolin’s in-court advocacy. Mr. Spolin’s goal in the representation of this client was to ensure that the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” was upheld and that the client’s Constitutional rights were protected.

Due to the sensitive nature of the case and the client’s privacy interest, more information cannot be shared at this time. A back-issue of the full May 31, 2017 Los Angeles Times can be ordered at the LA Times Store.

Contacting Spolin Law P.C.

Spolin Law P.C. provides free consultations on criminal cases. To speak with one of the attorneys at Spolin Law P.C., call us at (310) 424-5816 or email contact@spolinlaw.com.

Minor Charged With Homicide Found “Fit” for Juvenile Court

Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 12:01 pm    

After an approximately two-week court hearing in Inglewood Juvenile Courthouse, a 17-year-old Spolin Law P.C. client facing homicide charges has been found “fit” to remain in juvenile court. While she could have faced life in prison in adult court, in juvenile court her maximum period of confinement is now eight years.

When a minor is charged with a crime, the prosecutor may petition the juvenile court to transfer the case to adult court. The vast majority of minors facing homicide charges end up transferred to adult court, where a finding of guilt routinely results in a lifetime behind bars. Minors kept in juvenile court are confined in Juvenile Hall, which must release them by the age of 25. While adult court is focused on retribution and punishment, juvenile court focuses on rehabilitation, and the educational and extracurricular activities offered in Juvenile Hall reflect this.

The minor was represented by Aaron Spolin throughout the proceeding. Further details of the case and applicable legal defenses cannot be disclosed due to the strict confidentiality rules associated with juvenile court. After the minor is arraigned in the juvenile court, the case will proceed to the pre-trial phase.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Weapon Possession and Child Endangerment: A News-Based Legal Analysis

Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 11:16 am    

On Sunday, March 19th, Manhattan Beach Patch reported a hit-and-run outside Los Angeles International Airport around 9am. The 41-year old man who was suspected of the hit-and-run allegedly had a loaded handgun inside his Chevy Avalanche, along with a 12-year-old child. Safety precautions led officers to remove the suspect from his vehicle, where he is described as becoming aggressive towards the officers and trying to jump back into his car. Officers then pushed the suspect to the ground, where he was taken into custody.  The 12-year-old child who was in the vehicle said that there was a loaded handgun in the car. Police later reported they had found a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol in the suspect’s center console. The suspect was booked under charges of possession of a stole firearm, outstanding warrants, child endangerment, and resisting arrest.

California Penal Code section 25605 outlines rules relating to possessing a handgun. The Penal Code states a handgun may in certain circumstances be possessed by a legal resident over the age of 18, so long as the handgun stays within that person’s place of residence, business, or private property (California Penal Code § 25605). It is illegal to openly carry guns unless one has obtained the proper license to carry a concealed weapon.  Obtaining concealed weapon licenses in California is extremely difficult.  One of the many requirements is outlined in Penal Code section 31645, which necessitates a passing score on a firearms and safety test. However, one is not permitted to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon if they are deemed lacking in moral character, or have no special purpose to carry a weapon. Whether the alleged hit-and-run suspect had a license to carry a concealed weapon is unclear. However, the fact that he was arrested outside terminal 2 of LAX indicates that he violated the restrictions that prohibit weapons in school zones, buildings housing governing officials, polling places, and public transit facilities. LAX being a public transit facility, carrying a weapon in its vicinity is illegal.

The courts do not take gun laws lightly, and California has a reputation for forcefully enforcing gun law violators.  Prosecutors routinely offer uncompromising plea deals to those charged with weapons offenses, and courts are loath to undercut these offers. The result for those with illegal firearms can amount to significant jail or prison time as well as substantial fines.

California Penal Code 273a defines child endangerment as, essentially, putting a child through physical or mental pain, allowing the injury to a child under the adult’s supervision, or placing a child in a dangerous situation. This penal code is different from child abuse, as it allows for punishment even if a child doesn’t directly suffer injury. Child endangerment prosecutions can be initiated as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the case. A misdemeanor results in up to one year in county jail, whereas a felony results in up to six years in a state prison. It is common that if proof arises where a child is placed in a situation with risk of great harm, the suspect will be charged with a felony. The suspect has yet to have a court hearing, but due to the circumstances of the situation, it will not be surprising if he is charged with a felony. Endangering a 12-year-old child with a loaded Glock outside the terminal of one of America’s business airports has the potential to involve significant jail or prison time. Nonetheless, as with all criminal cases reported in the news, there may be more to the story than law enforcement has reported.  For example, there is a possibility that the suspect may have been lawfully carrying a firearm and simply forgot that it was inside his vehicle when he entered the vicinity of the airport.  However, we will have to save any discussion of possible defenses for another day or, perhaps, another blog post.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Can “Defense Of Others” Apply In Animal Abuse Cases?

Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 11:59 am    

Riverside Police arrested a man who is accused of killing a pit bull dog.  However, as the Los Angeles Times reported, the Pit Bull was attacking—and eventually killed—the accused man’s poodle.  Read the below analysis for a discussion of “defense of others” and animal abuse laws.

The poodle was on his owner’s property when the pit bull attacked.  After the pit bull clamped his jaws around the poodle’s body, it took three neighbors to unhinge the aggressor dog’s jaws and release the poodle.  According to witnesses, it appeared that the poodle was dead at that time. Authorities then report that the poodle owner (e.g., the defendant), killed the pit bull either at the end of or directly after the dog fight. (Los Angeles Times). On the suspicion of felony animal cruelty, the poodle owner was arrested. He was released on Christmas when he posted bail. Whether the pit bull bit the accused when he was trying to unhinge the pit bull’s jaw is unclear. However, the accusation that the poodle was already dead before the pit bull was killed is a key factor in why this case is alleged to be animal cruelty.

Penal Code section 597, California’s animal abuse law, has very strict guidelines that outline what qualifies as animal abuse, and provide specific details to determine the severity of the case. These particulars determine whether the case is to be treated as a misdemeanor or felony. The Penal Code (PC) states that any person who, “maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal” is subject to state imprisonment and/or $20,000 in fines if found guilty as a misdemeanor. (PC § 597) However, if the severity of the animal cruelty case warrants a felony, the punishment is subject to two to three years in prison. Additionally, Penal Code section 12022 conditions that the use of a deadly weapon in the case may add an additional year to the sentence (PC § 12022). The accused was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty because he reportedly violated Penal Code section 597 by intentionally killing the pit bull with a dangerous weapon. If the accused killed the pit bull after his own dog was already dead, and the accused knew that own dog was no longer in danger, that would preclude the affirmative defense of “defense of others.”

If evidence arises showing that the accused acted in defense of his dog while he thought the dog was still alive, then the nature of the case would shift. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions 3470 outlines the particulars of “self defense”/“defense of others” and how it could be applicable to this case. The Judicial Council instructs that if the defendant reasonably believed the defense of another was needed to protect against immediate danger, then the defendant may use proportional force to act against the attacker. If future evidence establishes that the accused attacked the pit bull out of “defense of others” for the poodle while the poodle was still alive or appeared to be alive, then there may be a viable justification.  If a jury accepts a “defense of others” argument, then the accused must be found not guilty of that crime.

California self defense law was shaped by the 2005 court case People v. Lee, which held that “the defendant must actually and reasonably believe in the need to defend, the belief must be objectively reasonable, and the fear must be of imminent danger to life or great bodily injury” (Cal. Ct. App. 2005).  If one feels his or her life is in immediate danger, human or animal, they have the right for self-defense. Another legal defense that often pertains to animal cruelty cases are accidents. California Penal Code 26 positions accidents as a viable legal defense if the crime was not committed intentionally (PC § 26).

Law enforcement authorities are currently conducting an autopsy of the pit bull dog. Depending on whether the accused has a criminal record, he could face significant time in state prison if found guilty. The severity of this type of case can result in hefty fines, if not a considerable amount of jail time even if the case is reduced to a misdemeanor. This case demonstrates the seriousness with which law enforcement take animal abuse cases as well as the limitations of “self-defense” and “defense of others” arguments.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Spolin Law P.C. Civil Rights Report – Threatening Letters Sent to California Mosques

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at 2:20 pm    

A slew of California mosques received hateful letters from an anonymous group titled “Americans for a Better Way” on November 28th, as reported by KTLA News. The letters were sent to Southern and Northern California mosques, as well as Islamic Centers in San Jose, Claremont, Long Beach, and Northridge.  They were addressed “to the children of Satan,” calling Muslims “a vile and filthy people.” KTLA story link: LAPD, FBI Address Threatening Letters Sent to California Mosques.  LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing noted how hateful rhetoric is rooted in fear and escalated by the charged political climate. However, according to the article, Downing believes that these letters are not to be considered a hate crime; rather, they are classified as a “hate occurrence.” One of the letters went on to predict that the federal government would carry out violent, genocidal acts against Muslims.

The rising pressure on Muslims and Islamic culture has been propelled by recent political conditions. The rise of Islam as an minority faith in America can be argued to increase anxiety among certain members of dominant religions. These reservations on Islamic culture, intensified by foreign events and the rise of ISIS, are expressed through hateful mediums, such as these letters (cited above). Although Downing claims that these letters are not to be considered a hate crime, one can argue otherwise. The liberty of religious freedom rests upon civil and political freedoms. And as of November 30th, 2016, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has reported over 100 incidents against Muslims since the presidential election.

Religious freedom is something that Western culture has prided itself on.  Religious rights were written into the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and this document is supposed to protect people of all religions, allowing them to freely practice their faith without discrimination. It is a federal crime to threaten or imitate people because of their religion.  Although LAPD claimed these letters are not hate crimes, it can be argued that when these letters referenced an Islamic genocide, a threat was made against a religious group. Regardless of whether “Americans for a Better Way” will be prosecuted, one theme is evident: a rise in religious intimidation is a cause for concern.

Talk to a Los Angeles Civil Rights Attorney

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Spolin Law P.C. Negotiates Two Recent Dismissals

Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 8:00 am    

[Update 1/31/17: The below article announces the November 2016 negotiation of two dismissals for Spolin Law P.C. clients.  Since the publication of this article, both cases have been formally dismissed.]

November 30, 2016. Spolin Law P.C. is pleased to announce two negotiated dismissals on significant cases within a two-day span.

On the first case, a Spolin Law P.C. client was facing felony charges in Riverside County for allegedly violating Penal Code section 136.1(c)(1) (“Felony Threats to a Witness”).  This charge would have been punishable by state prison for two, three, or four years.  Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, is representing the client and took a “trial focused” approach from day one.  He communicated to the assigned Deputy District Attorney an unwillingness to settle for anything less than an outright dismissal, given the client’s clean record and the likelihood of a defense verdict at trial.

Based on this trial-focused approach, the Deputy District Attorney agreed to dismiss the case as long as the client provides letters of reference from members of the community regarding the client’s character, which Spolin Law P.C. will help the client to do.  The next court date is coming up next month.  A case dismissal means that there will be no criminal record.

Two days prior to this negotiated dismissal, Spolin Law P.C. also negotiated the pending dismissal of a misdemeanor case in Los Angeles County.  The client was charged with violating Business and Professions Code section 25661 (“Using a Forged Identification Card”).  Mr. Spolin also personally represented this client and negotiated a dismissal, which will occur after the client completes twenty hours of community service at an organization of the client’s choosing.  The dismissal will result in no criminal record for this client as well.

These results are based on Spolin Law P.C.’s comprehensive approach to criminal defense.  Every legal step is taken to achieve a fair outcome for clients.  This includes preparing each case for trial so that negotiations with the prosecutor’s office can be carried out from a position of relative strength.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.

Los Angeles Criminal Court Subpoenas

Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 at 11:31 am    

What is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a formal demand for a person to testify in a court. A prosecutor or defense attorney may issue a subpoena to a person for his or her testimony or to a person for him or her to bring documents or other evidence to court.

When is a Subpoena Issued By a Criminal Court?

Our California Constitution provides that a defendant in a criminal case has the right to confront accusers and may compel witnesses to appear at a court proceeding to testify on his or her behalf. At the same time, the state has the right to require witnesses to give testimony in criminal cases. Both sides use a subpoena to compel witness appearance.

There are two different types of subpoenas. A subpoena can be issued to make a witness appear at a hearing. Another type of subpoena, called a subpoena duces tecum, can require a witness to produce documents or other evidence at a hearing.

Subpoenas For Non-Party Records

Sometimes documents are needed from a non-party. Those records can be obtained directly by either attorney if the person or entity from whom the records are being sought signs an authorization to release them to that attorney. Otherwise, that attorney may need to have a subpoena duces tecum issued and signed by a judge or other court personnel, requiring that the non-party deliver the documents to the court for the court to review them before deciding whether the attorney, usually the defense, is entitled to receive the documents.

Who Serves a Subpoena?

A subpoena can be served personally by anyone other than a defendant in the case. Although peace officers are required to serve subpoenas for the parties in a criminal matter, as a matter of course, private defense attorneys often use private process servers to ensure that subpoenas are served in a timely manner. Service of the subpoena must give the witness sufficient time to prepare and to travel to the place specified for the appearance.

A subpoena may also be served by mail or by messenger, However, when these methods are used, the service is not effective until the witness acknowledges the receipt of the subpoena either by telephone, mail, email, or in person.

Distance Issues In Subpoena Service

If the witness is located 150 miles or more away, special handling of a subpoena is required. The person seeking to compel the witness’ appearance must show the judge why this witness testimony is required. This is usually done by affidavit or declaration. If the judge feels that the witness testimony is material to the case, the judge will order that the witness be compelled to attend. Likewise, only a judge can order that an out-of-state witness be compelled to attend a hearing within California.

Subpoenaing Law Enforcement Officers

Service of a subpoena upon a peace officer is made by serving two copies of the subpoena to the officer’s immediate supervisor or whatever agent is designated to receive subpoenas on the officer’s behalf. Some counties allow service to be effected electronically via email or other designated device.

The superior may refuse service if insufficient time exists to deliver the subpoena to the officer. If a subpoena is served on the superior less than 5 days before the hearing date, the superior may refuse service.

Witness Fees

The court can grant $12 per day for each day’s attendance, a reasonable amount for necessary expenses and, up to $18 per day, rather than $12, if the witness is employed and the employer does not pay the employee’s wages for the time the employee is at court.

Quashing a Subpoena

A court may quash a subpoena for the appearance of a witness if the facts warrant it; such is the case when the testimony that would be offered is not material to the case. When documents are ordered to be brought to the court, a judge may review the documents out of the purview of the parties to determine whether the subpoenaing party is entitled to receive the documents.

An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may also object at the hearing or trial in addition to, or as an alternative to bringing a motion to quash a subpoena.

What To Do When The Witness Fails to Appear

If a witness who has been properly subpoenaed fails to appear, counsel’s only remedy is to ask the court for a continuance. If a subpoenaed witness fails to appear, counsel may be able to obtain a warrant from the court ordering the sheriff to bring the witness to court. A failure to appear on a proper subpoena may also subject the witness to a contempt order from the court. If the witness is on call after being properly subpoenaed and fails to appear, the subpoena must state that failure to appear according to an on call agreement may be punishable as contempt, in order for the court to order the witness in contempt.

What Difference Does a Good Lawyer Have Regarding A Subpoena?

The quality of your attorney can have a significant impact on the subpoenaing and handling of witnesses at a hearing or trial. Subpoenas are highly technical and a good attorney will understand how to subpoena your witnesses and what to do if they fail to appear so that your criminal proceeding is handled quickly and efficiently.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aaron Spolin, a former prosecutor, and award-winning criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, has a track record of success handling violent crime cases. He has been on the winning side of hundreds of cases. To receive a 100% free and confidential consultation from Aaron today, please call this number: (310) 424-5816.