Our client, age 42, was in the Beach Cities from Arizona for the annual company party. He drank once or twice per year and the company party was one of those occasions when he would imbibe.
The party ended rather early and so our client decided to venture to downtown Hermosa Beach alone to enjoy the Friday night life there. He had a few more beers and 2:00 a.m. arrived, so he decided to catch an Uber back to his hotel.
He called Uber and was instructed on where to wait, along Hermosa Avenue in the 1200 block (near the Laurel Tavern). He made the short walk from the Pier Plaza area and witnessed the Hermosa Beach Police Department handcuffing a homeless man to a street sign as they investigated a complain against the homeless man.
Our client, whose father died homeless, had a sensitivity toward the homeless and so he asked the police what the homeless person had done to deserve such humiliating treatment. The officers curtly instructed our client to step back and not to interfere with their investigation. The client stepped back two steps, but could not step any further back due to a parked car.
Our client continued to ask the police why the homeless man was being treated so poorly, but got no response. Finally, the police officer turned around, grabbed our client by his arms and spun him around, placing handcuffs on our client. He was then loaded into a waiting police car.
The client was immediately taken to the Hermosa Beach police station, shocked and confused by what had just happened. He was told he was being booked on charges of violating Penal Code § 148(a)(1) (delaying, obstructing or resisting arrest) and § 647(f) (public intoxication). Our client was furious and demanded a phone call so he could advise his wife in Arizona that he may be late getting home.
After letting his wife know this, his wife called Greg Hill & Associates. It was a Saturday morning at about 7:00 a.m. Greg answered the phone call and immediately went to the Hermosa Beach Police Department to arrange an OR (own recognizance) release for the client.
The police agreed and released the client to Greg, who then drove him to his car at the Portifino Inn. The client then got in his car and drove to Arizona in time for his daughter’s piano recital.
The client then retained Greg Hill & Associates. Greg went to the Torrance Courthouse for our client’s arraignment and discussed the case with the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor assigned to the case.
The initial offer was ten days in county jail and payment of the $358 Hermosa Beach booking fee, with a plea to both 647(f) and 148(a)(1). Greg then negotiated a deal to a plea to just 148(a)(1) and five days (40 hours) of community service by tracking down the supervising Redondo Beach City Prosecutor in another courtroom with the courthouse and discussing the case with her. There was also $220 in court fees related to a criminal conviction fee, a court security fee and one other administrative fee.
The client was very happy with Greg’s hustle and determination to get a fair deal for him. He entered into the plea bargain negotiated and thereafter did the five days of community service in Arizona.