Penal Code section 245(a)(4), Assault by Means of Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury, Offense Dismissed After Filing of Speedy Trial Motion (Serna Motion)!

Our office was recently retained to represent our client who was being charged with violating Penal Code section 245(a)(4), “Assault by Means of Force Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury.” According to the police reports, it is alleged that our client repeatedly punched the victim in the face and body and squeezed his neck until the victim almost lost consciousness. According to the photographs provided in discovery, the victim was badly bruised and bloody from the contact.

The case was filed against our client in 2017 and an arrest warrant was issued at the arraignment date. Our client never received notice of the case filing or the arraignment date. The only notice our client received was a letter from the Sheriff’s Department in 2019 notifying our client that he had an arrest warrant for the case. Therefore, our office filed a motion to dismiss the charges (also known as a “Serna Motion”) for denying him his speedy trial rights.

Initially, we knew that we had a good foundation for a speedy trial motion because of the passage of time and the fact that our client was never provided any notice of the charges. It became obvious to our office during our drafting of the motion that we had a strong case for a dismissal because we determined that the victim had since passed away. The fact that the victim had passed away during the delay in prosecution was clearly prejudicial. We supplemented the motion with notice that the victim in the matter had since become deceased and therefore is no longer subject to cross-examination on the claims. We further supplemented the motion with proof that law enforcement and the prosecution had knowledge of our client’s residential address since 2017 and still failed to provide him any notice of the case.

At the hearing date on the motion, the prosecution stated that they would be unable to proceed and would dismiss the case pursuant to Penal Code section 1382.

This is a great result for our client and he will no longer face potential jail time, a conviction, and other consequences!

We can help you now! Call now for a free telephonic consultation at 626.577.7700!


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