Our client, age 25, was a passenger in her boyfriend’s car with her boyfriend driving. They had a nitrous oxide tank in the backseat, from which our client was taking “hits” before the two arrived at the location they learned would be used for a slide show at about 1:00 a.m.
The location was Compton Boulevard and Lime Street, an area just one block east of the intersection of Compton Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.
The client and her boyfriend participated in the show just before officers from the Compton Police Department arrived, so they were driving away just in time.
Police however, believed our client and her boyfriend were participants and pulled them over just a few blocks away. When police approached the passenger side of the car, they ordered our client to get out of the car.
In response, our client refused. She asked police, “why do I have to get out? I am just a passenger.”
Police then forcibly opened the door and yanked our client out of the car, throwing her to the nearby pavement. One officer kept a hand on out client, but she wiggled away. Out client was a big girl (five foot, three inches tall and 190 pounds). She scratched one of the officers with a fingernail.
No sooner had she pulled away, but a second officer came to the rescue of the first officer and pinned out client to the ground, twisting her arms as the officers yelled “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!” All the while, our client was asking, “what am I accused of?”
Police asked our client’s boyfriend what the nitrous oxide tank was for in the backseat of the car and he explained it belonged to his girlfriend (our client) and that she was taking hits off it earlier in the evening.
Police handcuffed our client and took her to the emergency room, where she was treated for a few abrasions from the tussle on the pavement with the police. She was also issued a ticket at the hospital for two counts of evading or delaying arrest (Penal Code § 148(a)(1)) and two counts of assault on a police officer (Penal Code § 241(c)), both misdemeanors. Our client was outraged. She signed a promise to appear in the Compton Courthouse about three months later.
After she was released, she called several criminal defense attorneys, eventually speaking with Greg Hill. Greg Hill explained how such cases are generally handled in the Compton Superior Court and how judicial diversion would probably be how this case would resolve. Greg explained how judicial diversion, if completed, ends with the case being dismissed and the judge ordering the police report to be sealed and the record of the case filing being sealed, which means being erased or deleted from one’s criminal history.
The client had a minimal prior history of shoplifting at age 18, seven years earlier.
The client then hired Greg Hill & Associates and Greg appeared in the Compton Courthouse for the client’s arraignment. The client remained at work.
Greg discussed judicial diversion with the prosecutor, who proposed fifty-two sessions of weekly anger management classes, 120 hours of community service, 20 Narcotics Anonymous meetings, a stay away order from the location of Compton Boulevard and Lime Street except when passing by and not stopping and a condition that she obey all laws.
Greg was flabbergasted that this was the offer for judicial diversion, as it was so extreme and the terms were so heavy.
The judge asked Greg to prepare and file a motion for imposition of judicial diversion, which he did.
At the hearing on the motion, the judge in the Compton Superior Court discussed the case and how the charges really could have been felony charges for resisting arrest (Penal Code § 69) because both officers were injured. The judge also acknowledged our client’s lack of any significant prior record.
The judge then imposed judicial diversion for a period of one year on the following terms and conditions: that the client attend twenty-four anger management meetings; that she perform 40 hours of community service at any non-profit, that she attend 10 Narcotics Anonymous meetings, that she obey all laws and that she stay away from the Compton Boulevard / Lime Street location.
The client was very happy with this resolution.
For more information about judicial diversion issues, please click on the following articles: