A common question about criminal charges relates to the level of criminal charges in a Burbank Court case. There are many charges which begin as felonies, but can be reduced to lower level misdemeanor violations.
A common situation in Burbank is when a person is arrested for a felony charge, such as burglary. In situations where a charge can be considered for reduction to a misdemeanor level, the local law enforcement agency, the Burbank Police Department, does not have the authority to make this reduction.
A person accused of going into a store with the intent to commit a theft would likely be arrested for a commercial burglary charge, Penal Code section 459. This charge, as do other felonies, begins at a felony level at the arrest stage, and can only be reduced by the DA or courtroom judge.
After arrest and booking for this burglary charge, the bail will generally be set at $20,000. If an arrested person has never been in trouble with the law, and the incident does not involve a large amount of property, the "On-Call" LA Superior Court Commissioner will sometimes have the person released on their "own- recognizance," and set a future court date for that person to attend. If the "On-Call" Commissioner does not take this action, an accused person will have to post $20,000 or a bond in order to be released prior to court.
In the city of Burbank, all felony criminal cases are first reviewed by the Glendale Branch of the LA District Attorney's Office. In reviewing a felony arrest, the DA's Office Filing Attorney will look at many factors to determine whether a burglary type charge like the example above, should remain a felony. The DA will look at a person's background to see if there have been other criminal arrests. They will look at other factors, including the type of conduct, level of sophistication of the accused, remorse of the accused, age of the accused, as well as the seriousness of the incident. If an accused person has never been in trouble with the law and the case is not extremely serious, there is a good possibility that any charges filed will be at a misdemeanor level. In that event, the case then goes to the Burbank City Attorney for review.
Because the DA makes this important review at an early stage of the case, usually before the court date, early intervention by an effective criminal defense attorney can make a difference in how a case is filed. Thus, if you or a loved one faces criminal charges in a burglary charge, other felony, or misdemeanor, it is extremely important to obtain immediate legal assistance.