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What are Early Disposition Proceedings in a Los Angeles Criminal Case?

Many of our clients cases have a setting for an early disposition proceeding and they want us to represent them on the scheduled date. Early disposition proceedings are not common to every courthouse, nor will every court require it as a hearing. However, the few that do require that you attend, and also recommend that you seek representation by a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer.

An early disposition proceeding is more informal than a trial or official hearing before a Judge in criminal court. There is no Judge present, just the prosecutor and the person being charged for the criminal charge.

The early disposition proceeding is an opportunity for both parties to settle the case without having to litigate the issues in trial, or waste the court’s time and money. During the proceeding, the attorneys will discuss the facts, negotiate the possible consequences and make a determination as to whether they should settle the case or proceed to trial.

Let’s consider an example. Suppose David was driving home and he swerved to avoid hitting a dog that was loose on the street. In doing so, he struck a parked car along the road. He stopped and left his name and number on the windshield. However, it was a windy day and the note David left blew away. When David did not hear from the driver of the damaged car, Victor, he went back to check and see if there was any damage and if he could help. The owner of the damaged car had reported the incident since he never received the note. After speaking with David, Victor reached a civil compromise with David in which David paid for the damage to the vehicle and Victor no longer felt a need to press any charges. Unfortunately, the officers had already filed a charge against David and the charged require he appear in Court. David had been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run. He appears at the arraignment and pleads not guilty, because he had attempted to leave a note and done his part.

At the scheduled early disposition proceedings, David’s experienced Los Angeles hit and run lawyer explains that there is a civil compromise as well as the fact that the Prosecution will not meet the burden they have to prove each element, because David had in good faith attempted to leave contact information so that Victor would be able to contact him.

Early disposition proceedings give a person an opportunity to settle criminal cases through evidence and negotiation without the formality and costliness of Court. It is always a good idea to be represented by a legal expert in one of these proceedings as it could lead to a dismissal or reduction of your case.