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

KESQ News Channel 3
KESQ News Channel 3

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.

Be the first to know when news breaks in Coachella Valley. Download the News Channel 3 app here.

Get the News Channel 3 app here.

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

Comments / 29

Mary J

What the hell is happening is our city? Letting criminals off the hook leads to other crimes. and domestic violence cases? Are the judges going to be charged as an accessory when the alleged guilty party causes serious injuries or death?


Pretty soon the USA is going to be like Mexico, a lawlessness country, where the cartels are in charge, police is corrupt, and all politicians are involved with criminals!

Pat Zimm

That progressive pukes for you. You mve got all these woke DAs and their minions entrenched in the justice system and they are pushing their agenda forward. It's utterly ridiculous that a court system is that messed up. But it's paid for by taxpayers and you don't get a say in this, only the elected dimwits get to make the call. So let me guess, they're all democrats and the vast majority of criminals being given a free pass are minorities. The court system was off for nearly two years.


Comments / 0