Alhambra, Fight in Restaurant, PC 241, Convictions Expunged
Our clients, a Chinese family with a mid-thirties daughter and parents in their sixties, were each charged with battery upon another Chinese family in a Rosemead Chinese restaurant. The father, age 62, had been originally charged with felony battery, but charges were reduced to misdemeanor. The mother and daughter were charged with many counts of battery, as well as elder abuse due to the age of one of the victims, but ultimately each pled to one count of misdemeanor simple battery.
The case facts were that one family apparently cut in line for waiting for a table to eat lunch. The other family gave the other family dirty looks and made some derogatory comments, which triggered a thrown plate and then a flurry of hair pulling, kicking and broken glass.Distilled Down: Early termination of probation, contrary to what some prosecutors argue, does not require consent of the prosecutor because the terms of probation were an agreement worked out earlier with the prosecutor. In the following case summary, the prosecutor opposed early termination of probation, but the judge granted our motion for each of three clients.
The daughter was a middle-school teacher and was understandably concerned about the effect of a conviction for battery on her employment. The mother was a volunteer at her grandkids’ preschool and she had similar concerns on her future to volunteer, which she enjoyed greatly. The father was a businessman who had many clients who he suspected performed background checks on him before doing business with him.
Therefore, when each of our clients had fulfilled all terms of their plea bargain and had reached the half-way mark of their summary probation, they contacted Greg Hill & Associates to explore early termination of their probation and then, expungement.
Our office assembled both a motion for modification of probation under Penal Code § 1203.3 and petition for dismissal (also known as a motion for expungement) under Penal Code § 1203.4 for each client.
The motions contained a declaration from each client with exhibits showing each had moved forward with their life, only to be shadowed by being on probation and having a conviction. The motion for modification of probation for our client who was the school teacher also included exhibits that were her periodic performance evaluations as teacher, which stated that she was a valuable member of the school staff.
The Alhambra judge hearing the motions, granted all six motions over the arguments of the District Attorney that a plea bargain was a contract and our clients had not fulfilled all of its terms.
The District Attorney also argued that our clients had not paid restitution to the so-called victims, but the judge held that the District Attorney had waived his right to conduct such a hearing by not setting such a hearing earlier.
Our clients were satisfied, as the daughter’s job as a teacher was no longer tinged by a conviction for battery. The mother’s ability to volunteer at her grandchildren’s school was no longer in jeopardy due to being on probation or having a conviction. And the father’s record was clean once again of any conviction.
More importantly, if asked on any job application about such convictions, the three family members could legally answer “no,” unless the job was to operate a state lottery, work for a federal or state agency or an application for serving in public office.
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