Houman Fakhimi

Rancho Cucamonga Theft: Credibility Matters

In a Rancho Cucamonga theft defense, credibility is crucial in the courtroom.

Rancho Cucamonga Defense Attorney Houman Fakhimi knows that when prosecutors set out to make a case, they want to ensure that the witnesses they put on the stand are going to be believable.

Now, in the case of the so-called "Bling Ring," that's going to be very difficult, given the lead investigators involvement in a Hollywood movie of the same name.

You may recall the case. A group of young people, enamored with the lives of the rich and famous, ended up allegedly heisting designer clothes and artwork from the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. It's understandable that someone would want to make a film about the case, given the connection to such big names and the way the accused individuals were able to gain such close access.

What is likely to hurt the prosecution, however, is that the lead detective - the one who is credited with cracking the case - is on the payroll of that film, receiving an estimated $6,000. Not only did he reportedly provide consultation, he actually appears in it as himself, slapping cuffs onto the wrists of actress Emma Watson in one scene. What's more, one of the alleged suspects is on the payroll as well.

This has everything to do with the appearance and perception of impropriety. The film - and the detective's involvement in it - may have had no impact on the case if it had taken place after the trial was complete. However, it seems this veteran law enforcement officer became quite enamored with the fame himself - to the likely detriment of this case.

Think about it: if your freedom is on the line, how appropriate would be for the lead investigator to be making a profit off the "story" before a jury has even had a chance to hear it? Answer: It's not appropriate. So now, our Rancho Cucamonga theft defense attorneys understand that it has become a major snag in the prosecution's case, with state attorneys going so far as to say they now have to review where they stand and the credibility of one of their star witnesses in the courtroom.

Of course, the majority of Rancho Cucamonga theft defenses aren't going to involve celebrities, so the chances of this type of scenario unfolding in an every-day trial are slim. But there are certainly plenty of examples where an officer's credibility can come into play.

For example, a skilled Rancho Cucamonga defense attorney will seek an answer to questions like, "Has the officer ever lied in a police report?" and "Did the officer use excessive force during the arrest?" It's important to delve into the background of the officer and discover what other elements may be used to the favor of a defense client. We can also look at whether there may be a pattern of complaints against the officer for any particular offense - that goes directly to the issue of credibility.

Jurors tend to take police officers at their word. However, we know that like any other human being, there is the potential for dishonesty. In cases where police simply want it to be open-and-shut, make an arrest and move one, there may be a tendency to fudge facts or leave out vital information that could point to other suspects - simply because they don't want to thoroughly explore all the options. But that's their job.

When they don't do it, it's our job to stand up and protect your rights and your freedom.