Hermosa Beach, Public Nuisance (PC 372), Dismissed

Our client had spent an evening at the downtown Hermosa Pier Plaza area and was walking back to his car with his friends.  The client had spent a few hours at Hennessey’s Tavern. 
Summary:  Public Nuisance Case (Penal Code § 372) Dismissed, Hermosa Beach, Client Caught Allegedly Urinating in Parking Lot Between Cars.
The bars and restaurants had just closed and the group decided to take a short cut through the opening in the buildings near the FFFF Restaurant and Bar.  This is to the north side of the Pier Plaza and allows one to walk to the multi-structure, cement parking structure north of the pier.

Our client then traversed the small parking lot behind FFFF, when the urge to urinate took over.  Just as he began, a Hermosa Beach Police Officer on foot rounded the corner from the alley and spotted our client. 

Our client was outraged, as he did not actually urinate at all, but he received a ticket for this.   He was certainly planning on doing so, but was stopped. 

His friend, nearby, however, had urinated and was ticketed, too.

Our client insisted to the police that he was innocent and that the police were too quick to conclude what was happening.  The police officer smirked, “Tell it to the judge” and handed him the ticket.

The client came to Greg Hill & Associates the next day, more angry than ever.  He knew he needed to have an attorney to fight for him every step of the way, more so about the principle perhaps than anything else.

Our office listened to the facts and immediately wrote letters to the Hermosa Beach Police Department and the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor’s Office about the incident and demanding copies of the police report, although the arraignment in the Torrance Superior Court was a distant two months away. 

Our goal in writing such letters, besides seeking the police report, audio tapes(s), video tapes and 911 call(s), if any, is to let the police and prosecutors know our client is represented by counsel and that if the case is weak, to reconsider filing because if fought, the police may be revealed as having made a mistake.

At the time the ticket was given to our client, there were more than one trials demanded by defendants for the same charge.  The defense in each case was the same: “I never urinated.  The officer was too quick to hand me a ticket.  I told him this and he just responded by saying, sarcastically, ‘tell it the judge.’”  This ticket to our client seemed like nothing more than the same scenario.

Our office also discussed the case with the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor’s Office before the arraignment.  The prosecutors were surprised at our interest in such a small, minor misdemeanor and politely agreed to look into the case further.

Our efforts were rewarded when the Hermosa Beach City Prosecutor’s Office mailed us notice that the case would be dismissed.

Our client was quite happy.  As a former Marine, he was just getting started in his post-military career in security and a misdemeanor conviction would have set him back to looking for another job. 

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