In late September of 2018, when our client was 27 years old, the college football season was being played, as well as NFL games. The bars in Manhattan Beach were enjoying overflow crowds as people packed in to watch the games and enjoy a few beers.
Our client was one of those people who enjoyed such an atmosphere. He was in one of those bars until the early morning hours of a Sunday following Saturday college football games. After he left the bar, he decided to walk down to the Manhattan Pier to get some fresh air before driving home.
When he got down to the pier, a homeless man asked our client for money and our client politely told him no. The homeless man did not appreciate this answer, so he followed our client out onto the pier. Our client turned around and told the man “no” a second time.
The homeless man then walked back to a Manhattan Beach police officer and told the officer that our client had threatened to kill him.
The officer then approached our client and realized that while the homeless man had lied, as our client was respectful and not angry in any way. He did acknowledge that the homeless man had asked him for money and followed him onto the pier.
However, the police officer also could see that our client was extremely drunk, apparently because our client had taken off his shirt (it was over 75 degrees out even at 1:00 a.m.) and arrested him for public intoxication, a violation of Penal Code § 647(f).
This meant he spent the evening and morning in the Manhattan Beach City Jail. He was eventually released after signing a promise to appear in the Torrance Superior Court in about three months.
Once the client got home and realized his ticket was a misdemeanor, he called Greg Hill & Associates and discussed it with Greg Hill. The client explained what had led to the ticket and that he was on probation for a DUI conviction about two months earlier out of the Airport Courthouse.
Greg explained how such cases were generally handled at the Torrance Courthouse by the Torrance District Attorney’s Office. Greg recommended that the client attend ten Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings prior to the arraignment and give Greg proof of having done so that he could take to the arraignment to show the prosecutor.
The client did this and Greg was able to resolve the misdemeanor case as an infraction for violation of Penal Code § 415(2) (“Disturbing the Peace – Maliciously and Willfully Disturbing Another Person with a Loud and Unreasonable Noise”). More importantly, the conviction did not constitute a violation of the client’s probation for DUI.
Three and half years later in early 2022, our client reached out to our office about having the conviction for the infraction expunged. The client was eligible for a promotion at work and the new position, if he were so promoted, included job responsibilities in Canada and so he might be traveling there.
Consequently, he was interested in having the conviction expunged (under Penal Code § 1203.4a(a)) to make him more competitive for the promotion and if promoted, to decrease the difficulty in renting a car in Canada, where it is difficult to rent a car if one has a conviction for DUI, which our client had, and an arrest for public intoxication, both in the last five years.
Greg explained the process involved with expungement and the limitations of what would remain visible on the client’s criminal history.
The client retained our office and we then prepared, filed and served the petition for dismissal. The petition included a short memorandum of points and authorities, as well as a declaration from the client about why he was interested in expungement of the conviction for an infraction.
The judge assigned to the matter in the Torrance Courthouse granted the petition, which our client was happy to hear.