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    RivCo DA criticizes decision to dismiss over 200 criminal cases due to lack of available courtrooms

    By Jesus Reyes,


    Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin is criticizing judges' decisions to dismiss criminal cases based on a lack of available trial courtrooms.

    According to the DA's office, since Oct. 10, Superior Court judges have dismissed over 200 cases countywide. The dismissed cases range from misdemeanors to felonies with many types of crimes, however, officials added that most of the cases involve domestic violence charges.

    "These dismissals are occurring in situations where the DA’s Office has witnesses gathered and has announced that it is ready to begin a jury trial, however, the Superior Court does not have a judge or courtroom available to hear the case. Rather than granting the prosecution a brief continuance until a trial courtroom becomes available, judges have chosen to dismiss criminal cases and release the accused perpetrators who have been charged by the DA’s Office"

    - DA's Office

    The DA's office adds that California law permits prosecutors to refile dismissed felony cases one time. Dismissed misdemeanor cases cannot be refiled.

    “I assure you that we are doing everything in our power, advancing every legal argument, preparing every viable appeal, offering the court every possible solution, to keep our local judges from dismissing criminal cases,” Hestrin said.

    “These case dismissals are not justified and are not justice.”

    - DA Mike hestrin

    The DA's office added that there is a backlog of more than 2,800 criminal cases in Riverside County as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent public health orders. The statewide pandemic orders for courtrooms ended on Oct. 7.

    The Constitution and California State Law guarantee a criminal defendant with the right to a speedy trial, however, Penal Code section 1382 does not require a dismissal when good cause exists to continue a trial beyond the statutory deadlines, the DA's office added.

    The California Appellate Courts have held that a backlog of trial cases caused by the pandemic is good cause to continue a trial.

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    The post RivCo DA criticizes decision to dismiss over 200 criminal cases due to lack of available courtrooms appeared first on KESQ .

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