This is something that’s happening more and more in sex crime cases in Los Angeles. The prosecutors will file what typically would be a weak case against somebody, but then they’ll bring in a bunch of other instances that are not charged that occurred before or after the charges pending in criminal court and they’ll try to get those in against a defendant, and then you have a lot of defendants who are upset saying, wait a minute, I was never charged with those or those were the wrong case. They’ll even bring in prior convictions against you and people don’t like that, but there’s an Evidence Code Section 1101 and a number of other Code sections that come right after that talk about when prosecutors can bring in other sex acts.
If the person that they’re accusing of a certain crime has committed similar crimes with the same type of common plan or scheme, then that would certainly be relevant to bring in to show this is not an accident. This is not a mistake. This is what this guy/woman does and it’s their intent to commit an illegal sex act versus whatever the defense is in the case where the person is saying, I thought they consented to it or whatever they’re trying to say. They’re bringing in these other acts to try to refute that and really, what comes next if the judge decides, I see what you’re trying to do prosecutors – I’m going to let you do this. The next evaluation by the judge under Evidence Code Section 1101 and Code Section 352 is they’re going to now do a wang to say, if we let this in, is it fair to this defendant?
Is it prejudicial to this defendant? It’s always prejudicial to the defendant. The question is how prejudicial and how close are the other cases? So, the judge has to do this wang in these sex crime matters in Los Angeles and make a determination whether or not they’re going to let in these other cases – whether the other cases are cases that haven’t been filed. They’re just going to call a witness and say, this is what the guy did to me and then the defense attorney is going to say, wait a minute, were any charges ever filed? No. They don’t care. They’re still going to bring it in and they can even bring in other convictions that the person has that relate to these arguments that it’s a common plan and scheme.
There’s a whole bunch to provide identity, to prove motive. There’s a whole list under Evidence Code Section 1101 where they can bring in these other cases against the person. So, if you’re charged with a sex crime and they’re trying to bring in a bunch of other cases, I have people come in – I’ve been doing this twenty-five year – we talk about it, we see what’s going to be attempted to be gotten in and then I try to file a motion to block it from coming in. Some might come in; some might not come in. Ultimately, it will be up to the judge to do this 352 want to see how prejudicial versus probative the evidence is. In other words, how relative is it versus how bad it’s going to make the other person look.
What they can’t bring in is evidence of bad character of the other person, and of course, this is exactly what this is. It’s showing that the person has a bad character and they’re doing bad things, so they’re going to ram it under this Evidence Code Section 1101.
So, if you have one of these cases, we have you come in and we go over it and we start making strategic decisions on exactly how we’re going to defend you in your sex-related offense in Los Angeles County.
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