Our client, age 29, and his friend, age 27, went to Hermosa Beach to enjoy the warm weather and have a few beers. The two planned on watching the NBA Finals and having dinner at one of the restaurants on Pier Plaza and did so.
As the two were walking back to their respective cars, which they each parked on Palm Drive, our client had the urge to urinate before the long drive home, so he found a spot in the parking lot of Paisano’s Pizza at 1100 Palm Drive and relieved himself. His friend did the same thing, as it seemed like a good idea. The two were separated by about twenty feet and had some privacy due to a large trash can obscuring each from the other.
The large trash can, however, did not obscure the two from the eyes of a uniformed Hermosa Beach Police Officer, who issued each of them a ticket for “public nuisance,” Penal Code § 372. The ticket for urinating in public was somewhat humiliating and potentially harmful to our client because he was a senior management officer with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District.
The client and his friend, who was a prison guard at a Southern California prison about 120 miles away, both were handed their tickets and signed a promise to appear in Torrance Superior Court in about six weeks.
A few days later, the client called Greg Hill & Associates and described what had happened. He also explained his concerns about how a conviction for urinating in public as “public nuisance” would be perceived by his employer, the Los Angeles Sanitation District, which had as one of its purposes keeping harmful human waste out of contact with the public.
Greg explained how such tickets were handled in the Torrance Superior Court by the Redondo Beach City Prosecutors, who handle most of the misdemeanors that take place in Hermosa Beach once Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor retired about ten years ago.
Greg recommended that the client attend at least ten Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and that if he did so, the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor may amend the complaint to allege an infraction-level violation of Penal Code § 415(2) instead, although the client may be asked to make a $550 “donation” to the Hermosa Beach Nuisance Abatement Fund.
The client then did attend ten AA meetings and Greg received his proof of attendance, which he took with him to the arraignment and, as hoped, the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor did offer a reduction of the case to an infraction with an amendment to the complaint to allege a count two as an infraction violation of 415(2) after our client made the $550 “donation,” which he did.
The case was then resolved as an infraction, which the client was happy with due to his employment concerns.
A year later, Greg contacted the client again to ask if he was interested in having the conviction expunged. The client said he was and so Greg explained how the process worked. Greg explained that in seeking expungement of an infraction, because one was not placed on probation (as with a misdemeanor or felony), the judge must find that the convicted person has “led an honest and upright life” for the year since the conviction. Greg also explained how expungement does not erase or delete the conviction from one’s criminal history like sealing does, but one can legally state that he or she was never convicted of the offense, with certain exceptions.
Greg Hill & Associates then prepared a petition for dismissal for the client, filling out the FL-180 form for expungement under Penal Code § 1203.4a(a) and supplementing it with a short points and authorities and a declaration from the client, explaining why he was applying for withdrawal of the plea and dismissal of the case.
Greg then filed the petition for dismissal in the Torrance Superior Court and served the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor with a copy of the petition. A few weeks later, the court clerk sent our office notice of a hearing date and our office then appeared on that date.
The judge assigned to the hearing granted the petition, which was quite valuable for our client, given the coincidence between the underlying conduct, public urination, and his employment with the Los Angeles Sanitation District. He was happy to have the conviction removed from his criminal history.
For more information about expungement in general and expungement of an infraction, please click on the following articles: