Amazing Result Obtained for Client Charged with Two Domestic Violence Related Cases! Two Serna Motions Granted! Our Office was able to Obtain a Complete Dismissal of all Charges on Both Cases!

Our client recently retained immigration counsel to assist him with adjusting his immigration status in the United States since he is not a United States citizen. After completing a criminal history fingerprint check, our client was informed by his immigration attorney that he had two outstanding warrants for criminal cases that had been filed against him in Los Angeles County. According to our client, he was unaware that these cases had been filed against him back in 2003 and 2004. He then hired our office to investigate the charges and represent him in court.


In the first case, our client was charged with seven counts relating to an alleged domestic violence incident: Count 1: Penal Code section 273.5(a), “Domestic Violence”; Count 2: Penal Code section 594(a), “Vandalism”; Count 3: Penal Code section 591, “Damaging a Phone Line”; Count 4: Penal Code section 236, “False Imprisonment”; Count 5: Penal Code section 242/243(e), “Spousal Battery”; Count 6: Penal Code section 240, “Assault”; and Count 7: Penal Code section 273a(b), “Child Endangerment.”

It was alleged that this incident happened in December of 2002; however, the case was not filed by the prosecution until May of 2003. At the time of the incident our client was not contacted by law enforcement and was never subsequently arrested of the charges. Further, the prosecution never sent our client a “notify letter” informing him that charges had been filed or that he had an arraignment hearing for which he needed to appear in court. Thus, our client never appeared at his arraignment and an arrest warrant was issued by the court.

When we appeared in court on this matter, the prosecution informed our office that they were unable to locate the police reports and other records relating to this alleged incident. Our office then filed a formal Serna Motion arguing that our client was prejudiced by the delay in prosecuting this matter.


In the second case, our client was charged with two domestic violence offenses: Count 1: Penal Code section 242/243(e), “Spousal Battery,” and Count 2: Penal Code section 273.6(a), “Violating a Restraining Order.”

Similar to the other case, the prosecution did not file the case until approximately three (3) months after the alleged incident and our client was never arrested or notified of the case filing or that he had an arraignment hearing. An arrest warrant was then issued when our client failed to appear at the arraignment.

The prosecution was able to provide our office with the police reports for this matter. However, they were unable to locate the 911 audio recording(s) and the photographs of the complaining witness that were taken by law enforcement at the time of her contact with them. We then filed a formal Serna Motion for this matter arguing that the case should be dismissed for an unconstitutionally delayed prosecution.

After we filed our motions, the prosecutor handling the matters contacted our office and indicated that he intended to submit on (not oppose) our written motions. At the next court hearing, the court granted our motions and both of the cases were completely dismissed!

This is an amazing result for our client that will now allow him to proceed with his immigration attorney in seeking to adjust his immigration status!

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