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Bench Warrant from 2013 Recalled, Burbank 647(b), Dismissal

In 2013, our client was arrested by the Burbank Police Department on suspicion of soliciting prostitution (Penal Code § 647(b)) and loitering for purposes of prostitution (Penal Code § 653.22).  She spent the night in jail and was released the following morning after signing a promise to appear in the Burbank Superior Court in about two months.

Two months later, our client did not appear in the Burbank Superior Court.  In fact, after signing the promise to appear in court, she did not even think once about coming to court.  When police let her out of jail, she believed charges “had been dropped” and nothing would ever be filed. 

At the time, our client was 22 years old and had been told by her parents that “you are on your own now.  Leave.”  
Unfortunately, she had no skills for work and fell in with the “wrong crowd.”  Before long, she was using drugs regularly and took to prostitution to fund her needs.  She had multiple arrests for 647(b) and drug-related offenses.

Fast forward nine years to 2022 and our client was living in New York and married with a daughter of her own.  She was applying for work and one potential employer advised her that there were multiple warrants outstanding for her in Los Angeles.

The client then called Greg Hill & Associates to see what could be done about each one.  Greg Hill spoke with the client, who described what she had thought happened, but described that period in her life as unclear to even herself.
Greg then went to Torrance court to get the dockets on the client’s cases in Los Angeles County, using her name and date of birth, to see what could be done for her in each case.

Greg then called her back and explained what could be done in each case, how a judge may respond to certain requests and how the prosecutor may represent the People’s interest in each case.

As to the Burbank case, Greg explained that in 2013, a prostitution case may have been prosecuted by the District Attorney’s office or the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.  Greg frankly said he just did not know and could not remember.

Greg further explained that regardless of whether the District Attorney’s office of the City Attorney’s office handled the case, if the client did not sign a promise to appear, the client would likely have a strong motion to dismiss under Serna v. Superior Court (1985) 40 Cal.3d 239, 707 P.2d 793, 219 Cal. Rptr. 420 based on presumed prejudice from more than one year’s delay in her coming to court and deprivation of the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

Greg explained that if the client had signed such a promise to appear, the judge most likely would be averse to such a motion, as it would reward the client for breaching her written promise to appear. 

Greg further explained that if the District Attorney were handling the case, the assigned DA in Burbank very likely would dismiss the case because under Special Direction 20-07, Head District Attorney for Los Angeles County, George Gascon, had instructed his prosecutors not to file solicitation of prostitution cases or loitering for purposes of prostitution unless the defendant had more than one such case in the last twenty-four months.  Our client did have such a case within the prior twenty-four months, but Greg explained that the DA might not double-check for this exception to the no-filing policy.

The client then retained our office and, a few days later, Greg appeared in the Burbank Superior Court for the client to have the bench warrant recalled.

Luckily, much to the delight of Greg, the case was assigned to the District Attorney’s office.  The judge first recalled the warrant and the District Attorney then dismissed the case without checking on our client’s prior history.

The client was extremely happy with this  outcome.

For more information about bench warrant recalls, prostitution and the new judicial diversion law, 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
"Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards." L.H., Torrance
"Dear Greg, Thank you again for all your help. Your professionalism and thoroughness is greatly admired. I will definitely recommend you to my friends if they ever need legal help." V.L., Carson
"Thanks for investing in my case. I talked to other attorneys out there and they had an arms-length of attitude, but not you. Your intensity and interest helped a lot." C.R., Pomona