Compton Court, Prostitution, $50 Fine, AIDS Education Course
Our client, age 42 and married, was arrested by the Major Crimes Bureau Vice Unit and the Lynwood Special Assignment Deputies along Long Beach Boulevard. He had pulled his car up alongside a female police officer posing as a prostitute and offered her $45 to engage in sexual intercourse. It was about 5:30 p.m. on a Friday, during winter months, so it was dark out already.
Our client had no prior criminal history and was devastated by the arrest. His wife’s disappointment would be brutal.
Making matters worse, police mistakenly charged him with a violation of Penal Code § 647(a), which is the code section for having sex in a public place, such as a public restroom in a park or an adult video shop or adult movie theatre. The charge has a stigma of gay sex and for our client, a married man, it carried with it special stigma.
The client came to Greg Hill & Associates explaining he had been arrested for solicitation of prostitution, but the charges he described as written on the ticket said otherwise. The client explained what happened and how he was arrested. Greg agreed that the charge on the ticket indeed appeared incorrect.Main Point: Police sting operation on Long Beach Boulevard in City of Lynwood, client mistakenly charged with violating Penal Code § 647(a), allegations corrected, case resolved for $50 Fine, AIDS education class.
The case was then filed in the Compton Superior Court.
Greg Hill appeared in court on the arraignment date and carefully read the police report. The complaint filed by the District Attorney’s office repeated the error, by charging our client with 647(a). Greg pointed this out to the District Attorney, who quickly understood the error and amended the complaint.
The reader of this summary may question whether pointing this out is a good thing to do, as maybe the complaint would be dismissed later. This is indeed a tactic, but if the goal is to have the case dismissed early and the case has a high potential for diversion (as in this case), it is better to gently point this out to the prosecutor.
Because the client had no prior criminal history, the prosecutor responded as Greg had hoped. The prosecutor offered a deal in which our client could plead to the section 647(b) charge and be allowed to withdraw his plea in 18 months if he stayed out of trouble for that time. As a condition of plea, he had to pay a $50 fine, plus penalties and assessments, to the Los Angeles Superior Court and had to attend an AIDS Education class. This class costs about $65.
Our client accepted the deal, looking forward to later being able to withdraw his plea and have the case dismissed.
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