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California Appeals Court Rules that DA Cannot “Surprise Defendant” With New Torture Charges

Criminal defense attorney files writ to have charges missed due to unfair surprise

A California Court of Appeals recently reviewed a writ of prohibition to restrain the Superior Court of San Diego County from proceeding further on torture charges that were pending against Augustin Robert Quinones. Quinones was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. The charges came soon after an incident in which Quinones drove his van into a man causing him to fall back a few feet and go under the van. The preliminary hearing was held about six months after the defendant was arrested.

Five months after the preliminary hearing, a different prosecutor filed amended information adding a charge of torture and one of attempted murder to the original assault charge. This information increased Quinones’s maximum sentence exposure from eight years in prison to life in prison. Quinones filed a motion to dismiss the torture and attempted murder charges in San Diego on the basis that adding the unforeseen charges after the preliminary hearing deprived him of substantial preliminary hearing rights.

Among other arguments, Quinones along with his skilled criminal defense attorney also claimed that the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing did not establish probable cause to believe he had committed either offense. The court denied the motion to omit the attempted murder charge but ruled that the torture charge should be dismissed as there was not sufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing to support the torture allegation. In Quinones’s case, he was fortunate enough to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the district attorney’s unfair allegations.

When you are facing serious felony charges you need a criminal defense law firm on your side that will not allow the prosecutor to get away with “unfair” and “surprise” tactics in your criminal case. You need a law firm that will fight for the dismissal of criminal charges when they are not warranted. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are talented and well-prepared so as to always be ready to deal with all developments that might occur in your legal matter. With over 30 years of experience we will get you the help you need. Just call us at 1-888-749-0034 or visit us on the web at www.wklaw.com.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.