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Bench Warrant from 2013 DUI Recalled, West Covina Court

In 2013, our client, then age 23, was arrested by the CHP for DUI along the I-10 Freeway, just east of the interchange with the I-605 Freeway.  Her blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured at 0.10%.

Using a public defender, she resolved her case with a no contest plea to the charge of violating Vehicle Code § 23152(b) (“Driving a Vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08% or Higher by Weight”) and was placed on three years of informal or summary probation on the following terms and conditions: 1) that she enroll in and complete an approved three-month alcohol awareness program (AB 5410); 2) that she pay $390 plus penalties and assessments (total $2,022) or perform 120 hours of community service and pay $387 in court fines; and 3) that attend the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) victim impact panel.

She did then attend and complete the AB 541 program, but then she moved to Rhode Island to be closer to family there and, according to her, “forgot” about her other obligations.

In 2022, her employer advised her that there was a pending bench warrant for her in California and she immediately realized why it was issued.

The client then called Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg Hill.  She explained why she was calling and asked about having done part of the plea bargain, but not everything she promised.

Greg then went to the Torrance courthouse, where he retrieved the docket for the client’s West Covina case so he could accurately advise her what the court clerk shows she did and had not done, or still owed.

Greg cautioned the client that while most judges understand that people have other events in life that can compete for their time and finances, judges do not want people to make following the law a second priority.  So many judges may impose a penalty of an additional fine or community service for not completing the terms of probation.

Greg assured the client that while almost every experience he had with recalling a bench warrant for a misdemeanor case, he had once (in twenty-five years of experience) had a judge demand that the client appear in person. 

Greg also recommended that the client give Greg documentation to take to the court, and perhaps court fees that were owed, when he appeared to present to the judge while asking to have the bench warrant recalled.

The client agreed and completed the MADD victim impact panel online and gave Greg a copy of the proof of completion certificate.  She also performed 120 hours of community service at the Salvation Army in Providence, Rhode Island and gave Greg a letter documenting this, as well at the $387 in court fines.

Greg then appeared in the West Covina Superior Court and had the case added to the calendar for a bench warrant recall.
As Greg explained to the client, the judge was not opposed to recalling the warrant, particularly when Greg has money for the court and other items such as the MADD victim impact panel proof of completion and proof of 120 hours of community service done. 

However, the judge was surprisingly upset at the delay in completing the terms of the plea bargain, so he sentenced our client to 60 days in Los Angeles County Jail for the probation violation, suspended pending the client performing 150 more hours of community service.  He also reinstated the client on probation.

In other words, the client could avoid serving 60 days in county jail by performing 150 hours of community service.  The judge then set a deadline 90 days into the future.

Greg shared the judge’s rulings with the client, who was happy, but somewhat surprised, as was Greg.

Nonetheless, our client quickly performed 150 hours of community service as ordered in Providence, Rhode Island at DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), the Emmanuel House and the Salvation Army.

Greg then returned to court with proof of this 150 hours and the judge accepted the hours and terminated probation.  Our client was now eligible for expungement of the conviction if she wished to apply for this.

For more information about bench warrant issues, please click on the following articles:
Client Reviews
"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
"Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him." S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
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