Our client, age 24, was a full time employee and a four-year college graduate. He had no prior criminal history. This all changed when he was ticketed for public urination in downtown Fullerton at approximately 2:00 a.m. outside Florentine’s Grill.
In a Nutshell: Client ticketed for public urination in Fullerton. The client attends ten Alcoholics Anonymous meetings prior to the arraignment and gives Greg a copy of his AA sign-in sheet, as well as his resume. The case is reduced to an infraction with a $50 court fine.
The client was heading to his parked car when he felt the need to urinate, so he found a bush that would obscure his urinating. Just as he was doing so, an undercover police officer walked up to our client as he was finishing and asked our client if he was urinating.
Our client, not knowing the gentleman was a police officer, answered, “yes, sir. Had to go.” The undercover police officer then displayed his badge and wrote our client a ticket for violating Fullerton Municipal Code § 7.110. The ticket indicated a future date to appear in the Fullerton Superior court and the officer told our client that he would need to sign the ticket’s promise to appear later or be taken into custody immediately and then brought to court from the jail on Monday or Tuesday.
Our client signed the ticket, fearful of being taken to jail overnight, but not knowing the gravity of the ticket. He assumed it involved a $20 fine that he could mail a check in.
However, when he unfolded the ticket the following day, he read that the offense was classified as a misdemeanor. He did some research on the Internet and found articles that suggested he might have to register as a sex offender for life if convicted (this is extremely rare and only permitted if the judge believes it is necessary, in which case the facts probably are closer to indecent exposure and would instead be so charged).
The client had aspirations of becoming a real estate broker in the future, so the prospect of having any misdemeanor on his record concerned him, let alone being a registered sex offender for life. He therefore called up Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg Hill.
Greg asked the nervous client about the facts of the case, his background and his criminal history. Greg explained his experiences in handling dozens of public urination tickets in Fullerton and how they are handled. Greg recommended that the client attend a minimum of ten alcohol anonymous (AA) meetings before the date for the arraignment in court and give Greg a resume to show the Fullerton City Attorney. Greg also addressed the myth that one convicted of public urination might have to register as a sex offender and told the client he had never seen a judge impose such an obligation.
The client then did attend ten AA meetings almost immediately and e-mailed Greg his resume.
Greg then appeared in the Fullerton Superior Court and spoke with the Fullerton City Attorney, showing the prosecutor the Client’s AA meeting sign-in sheet and his resume. The Fullerton City remarked that he wanted to simply dismiss the case if he could, given the client’s AA attendance, but almost apologized that the best he could do was lower the misdemeanor to an infraction and resolve the case with a $50 fine (which would be about $290 after penalties and assessments were added).
Greg texted the client the offer from court and the client agreed to accept the offer.
Greg then accepted the offer of the infraction on the client’s behalf. The client was happy with the resolution because an infraction would not have the same compromising effect as a misdemeanor on his future application to become a licensed real estate broker and with an infraction, he is not on probation. Moreover, in most employment-related background checks, the employer only asks for misdemeanor and felony convictions, not infractions because infractions include parking tickets.
For more information about public urination and the difference between a misdemeanor and an infraction, please click on the following articles:
- What Punishment Do I Face for Public Urination?
- What Is the Difference Between an Infraction and a Misdemeanor?
- Expungement of an Infraction?