Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Predicts More Court Congestion in 2012

2011 was indeed historic in many respects, the Long Beach Superior Court finally saw the new Courthouse break ground with the promise of larger more modern facilities such as ADA compliant courtrooms and a building free of rodents and asbestos.  With this change though comes the promise that the new Court will be just as busy, if not busier, than the old one.  More money is flowing to enforcement of the laws but not enough is being spent to ensure that the courts are equipped to handle the increased capacity.  According to one local Long Beach Criminal Attorney, Matthew Ruff, the Judges are overworked and Court staff are near their breaking point as far as workload.  If anyone is listening in the state legislature, please let it be heard that the judicial system is approaching collapse.

Options to Fight a Speeding Ticket

California boasts the highest per capita ticket rate among all states.  When a driver is given a speeding ticket he or she has several options.  One is to do nothing, pay the fine, take your lumps and move on with life.  Second, send in a letter to lower the fine and plead guilty.  Third, submit a trial by declaration and ask the court to dismiss the case based on failure of the officer to prove the ticket was legal.  Fourth, Go to court yourself without a lawyer and fight the ticket in trial, plead not guilty and set the matter for a contested hearing.  Fifth option is to fight the case by hiring an attorney.  This may be the most expensive route but can be the most effective according to a Bakersfield speeding ticket attorney, the odds of winning a case without the benefit of legal counsel are slight.  The judge will not be tolerant of your requests unless they are in correct legal form.  In the end, a ticket can be beat just be persistent and fight.

The Use of Mental Health Professionals in Long Beach Court

Mental health professionals are very active in Long Beach criminal courts. Judges often order mental health examinations before deciding whether a formal competency hearing is warranted. California law permits a criminal court judge to appoint an expert when it appears that expert evidence is or may be required by the court or a party. In addition, based on the constitutional right to a fair trial, a trial court must appoint an expert for an indigent defendant if the defendant shows the expert’s services are reasonably necessary to his or her defense. If there is a reasonable possibility, even if it does not rise to the level of substantial evidence, that the defendant is unable to understand the proceedings or assist in his or her own defense, the Long Beach court must order a mental health examination before deciding there is no need for a formal competency hearing.  A mental health expert appointed by the court should be ordered to provide a report to the court, with copies for the criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor. The purpose of the report is to guide the court in determining whether to order a competency hearing. If the hearing is ordered, one or two additional doctors must be appointed and the defendant must be afforded due process rights to challenge their conclusions as part of that hearing.