Hermosa Beach, Misdemeanor Ticket to Infraction, 10 AA's

Our client, age 23, was handed a ticket for allegedly violating Penal Code § 372, defined as “public nuisance,” after a Hermosa Beach Police Officer claimed to see him urinating near a porta-potty in an alley.  The alley was in the downtown area off of the Pier Plaza.
In a Nutshell:   Hermosa Beach Public Nuisance Ticket for Misdemeanor Violation of PC 372 Resolved for Infraction After Client Does 10 Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings; Fine is $150 Plus Penalties and Assessments.
Our client did not want to go into the porta potty at night because it was completely dark inside and dirty, so he urinated next to it.  Our client had fears of falling down inside and putting his hands on dirty areas and having his clothes dirtied up and smelly in the worst way.

Our client had just graduated from Arizona State University and was happily employed in sales.  He was in California on a short vacation from Tempe.  There was perhaps no place better than the downtown Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza area to smell the ocean air, have a good dinner and then enjoy watching some sports at one of the local bars.

After he received his ticket and realized he faced up to six months in Los Angeles County Jail and up to a $1,000 fine (plus penalties and assessments that could boost the total owed to over $4,500), he understood it was not just a $20 ticket like one gets for parking illegally. 

He then called Greg Hill & Associates, who listened to the facts of the case.  Greg asked him about whether he had any prior record and the client disclosed he was on probation in Los Angeles County for a DUI and had a prior misdemeanor public urination ticket from Santa Barbara.  This made the Client quite nervous that the prosecutor might seek a probation violation in the other cases.

Greg recommended that the client complete 30 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, just in case the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor ran his criminal history (rap sheet).  Greg knew from experience that usually, the prosecutor did not consider these and Greg hoped that practice would continue.

The client had sufficient time to complete 30 AA meetings prior to the arraignment, but only completed ten. 

On the day of the arraignment, the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor was in a good mood and graciously agreed to amend the complaint to allege an infraction violation of Penal Code § 374.3(a) (“public dumping,” or littering, most commonly alleged when someone dumps an old sofa or mattress somewhere).  The prosecutor then agreed to dismiss the misdemeanor.  She did not review our client’s criminal history.  This was quite a bit of good luck.

The client pled to the infraction and was luckily offered just a $150 fine, which was earlier only reserved for those who attended 30 AA meetings.    With the penalties and assessments added to the fine, the total owed to the Los Angeles Superior Court would be about $750.

In short, the resolution of the case was better than could have been expected.  The client was happy to have the misdemeanor dismissed, as he was quite nervous about losing his job if convicted of a third misdemeanor.

For more information about the issues in this public urination case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for Public Urination?
  2. What Convictions Require Registration as a Sex Offender under Penal Code § 290?
  3. What Is the Difference Between an Infraction and a Misdemeanor?
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