I attended the San Bernardino Courthouse to observe three different cases. The courtrooms were slightly larger than I had expected it would be. Within most of the trials I attended, there were a few other witnesses, most of which I assumed were acquaintances of each other. Additionally, the demeanors in the court were polite and traditional.
The first proceedings of the day started with a traffic trial. The judge recited the bare facts of the case. He stated somewhere along the lines of, “Mr. Hurtado, you are charged with a violation of Section 22350 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of California, by driving 75 mph in a 65 mile per hour zone on the Freeway.” Before the prosecution began, Mr. Hurtado proceeded to make a motion regarding the dismissal of charges as the officer had failed to appear. He later pointed out to the judge that his right has been denied and how case should be dismissed. After Mr. Hurtado contested the ticket and told his story, the judge declared the ticket to be dismissed.
At the second courtroom session, I watched a cross examination of the prosecution’s last witness. And investigator (failed to record his name) testified regarding his interview of the defendant. Additionally, he released a testimony that Mrs. Sheffer gave in regards to the offenses in question. The defense counsel thereafter motioned for a trial order of dismissal. In addition, a discussion amongst the judge and attorneys. This included the orders that were given to the jury, which consisted of eight men and four women, before they deliberated the verdict. From what was presented, it was a civil case in terms of child custody and a request of trial by jury.
The third proceeding of the day was a case of a minor in possession of alcohol under the age of 21. The bailiff soon presented the defendant, Charlie Sherwood, who was escorted by his lawyer and mother. The room felt timid and constraint as he was summoned to...
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