First hire an attorney. Then that attorney will get all the information of potential witnesses and be able to discuss the matter with the DA. Since charges have been filed this will not go away on its own.
Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.
This sounds like a felony case. You should hire an attorney or speak the public defender that was assigned to this case. Once your son provides his attorney with all of the facts in this case, there might be more room for them to negotiate on your son's behalf. The attorney appointed or hired to this case will be able to get the discovery in this matter and will be in a better position to handle this matter. The best thing to do is not to freak out and make informed decisions. The best way to make sure you and your son are making the best decisions on his behalf, you must speak with someone with knowledge about criminal law and experience with assault with a deadly weapon charges.
As the other attorneys have stated, this is a serious charge and will require the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. This first court appearance is just what's called an arraignment. At this point, not much will change. Your son's attorney will enter a plea of "not guilty" on your son's behalf. This is also when the DA should provide your son's attorney with "discovery" basically all of the police reports and evidence they have. Based on this evidence, the attorney will determine how to proceed. There may be some defense investigation, talking to witnesses, etc.
After the arraignment, there is a pretrial negotiation conference followed by a preliminary hearing. The government has a low burden at this level, but a case can be dismissed at that point for lack of evidence. If the case makes it past preliminary hearing, there will be another pre-trial conference where the attorneys can try to negotiate a plea deal. If all else fails, self-defense may be only a trial offense.
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Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
You need to speak with an attorney about this matter. It will not only give you the best odds of a favorable outcome, but it will provide your family peace of mind.
As previously mentioned, his first hearing will be his arraignment, not much will happen there, however the attorney will get to see the discovery (police report, witness statements), and have an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor.
I am an attorney in Chico. You are welcome to call my office for a free consultation. Don't post any more information about your son's skills in fighting. Do get the names and phone numbers of the witnesses if you can, and do not push them to help your case.
I'd then hire an attorney w/ a good defense team. A private investigator, often retired law enforcement, can get the witness statements written up and ask the right questions.
This sounds like a felony case. Never a good thing. A felony conviction can permanently damage a young man's future. A convicted felon will have a very difficult time getting certain professional licenses, such as Realtor, Civil Engineer, a very long list.
If you've invested in your son's future, this may be the time to help him.
Best of luck to you.