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What is the procedure to be the Attorney or counsel of record in a criminal misdeamenor case in CA?

Palos Verdes Estates, CA |

I am a general practice atty. and plan to represent a family friend regarding a misdeamenor (petty theft case). Also is it proper procedure for me to contact the D.A. and discuss a plea bargain regarding this case a few days prior to hearing date?

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Attorney answers 2


You appear as attorney of record at the Arraignment date. You will say "Attorney so and so on behalf of so and so." There is no need to contact the DA on this type of case. Likely they won't even have the file ready until the morning of the Arraignment. At the Arraignment you can discuss a plea deal. Call me if you have further questions.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


Gonna play devil's advocate for a second--since the matter is a criminal matter and it appears to be your first time out the gate--strongly recommend you get an experienced criminal attorney to hold your hand (like calling Seth who already offered). The criminal court proces can happen super-fast if you don't know what you're doing and you don't want to foul up with a family friend.......

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.