A city attorney hearing can be a very valuable opportunity for a client and his attorney to present mitigating testimony and even evidence at an informal hearing before a city prosecutor, instead of a judge. Not all judicial districts, and their prosecutors use these type of hearings to screen out certain types of cases from formal court proceedings.
Our law firm frequently request, prior to formal charges being filed, that the city attorney’s office schedule such a hearing were all parties and witnesses convene with a single prosecutor to preview the relative strength or weakness of the evidence, before deciding whether to file formal criminal charges. At these hearings, all favorable evidence and witnesses can be brought out to show a more favorable side to our clients story. These proceedings are not bound by the numerous rules of courtroom evidence, or other restrictions. These fact finding sessions allow our clients to be seen in the most favorable light, and can be viewed as real people, instead of just been a case number.
Mitigation, which is a legal term meaning to soften or lessen the outward appearance of certain facts, allow the prosecutor to understand the state of mind of our clients, as well as feel their remorse for the conduct that may have landed them in this less than positive situation with the law.
At the conclusion of these hour-long hearings, a prosecutor will ascertain whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the pending case against the defendant, or in the alternative agree to merely sternly warn the parties to refrain from any further conduct in the future which gave rise to their contact with law enforcement.
Our firm has been very successful in winning a great majority of these hearings and avoiding our clients the stress, expense, and negative ramifications of having charges brought against them. Years of daily courtroom experience have given us the insight into knowing how prosecutors think, before they even are presented with a police report, which generally does not portray our clients in the most favorable light.
Prior to a city attorney hearing, all of our clients are properly prepared as to the procedure, as well as the most advantageous way in which to present their testimony. Proper preparation insures that our clients are comfortable and ready to answer all questions, as well as present their side of the story. The result of winning a city attorney hearing is that our clients walk away from a potentially damaging criminal prosecution, with no charges being filed, and no negative effects to tarnish an otherwise good record.