A Criminal Attorney in Long Beach Discusses 170.6 Challenges

Here is the scenario, two defendants are charged in a case together.  One of the defendants files a 170.6 challenge against the first Judge assigned to hear a bail motion. (A 170.6 challenge allows a party to get rid of a Judge for no reason if they believe he or she is biased against them)  Thereafter, when trial gets closer the case is assigned to a new Judge that the other defendant believes will be biased against the case.  The question is can the defendant challenge that new Judge under a 170.6?  The short answer to the question is no, but there is an exception if the defendants can demonstrate they have a conflict of interest against each other.  Here is the law: In a criminal case, if there is a conflict of interest among co-defendants, each defendant may be entitled to make a peremptory challenge. The defendant seeking to make a second challenge has the burden of showing substantial adverse interests between the co-defendants.  This burden is not met by the mere fact that the defendants are
represented by separate counsel, nor by potential conflict between co-defendants at trial, when the judge against whom the second challenge is sought is to preside at a pretrial hearing  The filing of a form declaration
claiming a conflict of interest with no specific factual showing of adverse interests is insufficient.  This type of predicament arises frequently in the Long Beach Court given the large number of gang related charges filed there.  It is important to get a consultation with a local Criminal Attorney in Long Beach if you believe your case falls within the exception to the rule.

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