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Hermosa Beach, Public Intoxication, Judicial Diversion

Our client, age 25, had grown up in Georgia and attended a well-regarded Georgia university, earning a prestigious engineering degree therefrom.  He then was fortunate enough to land a solid job with a defense contractor in the El Segundo area.  He found an apartment in Manhattan Beach near the ocean and was quite happy.

One day in October 2021, with the coronavirus threat seeming to decrease, he accepted an invitation from some co-workers to meet at Tower 12 in Hermosa Beach to celebrate that co-worker’s recent health over cancer. 

Our client knew he would probably drink quite a bit, so he decided to ride his bike to the bar, rather than drive or Uber.  It was about a two mile bike ride for him each direction.

Our client made the trip to the bar with no problem, but the same could not be said for his return home.

Apparently, as he did not know exactly how, he crashed on his bike while riding home.  Undeterred, he decided to then walk home, leaving his bike on the Strand somewhere.  The walk also ended badly, as he apparently fell down and did not get up.  Some other folks walking in the area called 911 and reported that a man was unconscious in the 2500 block of the Strand.  It was approximately 1:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Several units of the Hermosa Beach Police Department raced to the scene, including paramedics.

The responding units found a highly intoxicated young man with a cut to his face that was still bleeding and dripping blood down his neck.  Our client told police that he was fine and could walk home, but as he stood up to continue walking, he fell again.  The police report stated that our client exhibited bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and had the strong odor of alcohol.  When asked if he had consumed any alcohol that evening, our client acknowledged that he indeed had many beers.

For our client’s own safety, police took him to the Hermosa Beach Police Department to sober up, which he did over the next eight hours.  He was then released after signing a promise to appear in the Torrance Courthouse about three months later on charges of public intoxication, a violation of Penal Code § 647(f).

The client was confused about what would happen to him, as he had no criminal history.  He called up Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg.

The client described what had happened, explaining that after drinking quite a bit with his co-workers at Tower 12, he attempted to ride his bike home.  At some point, he crashed and abandoned his bike, resolving to walk home instead.

Greg asked the client if he told the police that he had first tried riding his bike home and the client said he did not.  Greg explained that one could be charged with DUI even riding a bike, so that was important to know if the police knew about his bicycling while drunk.

The client explained that he did not know how he cut his face, as he was so drunk that he really did not know what was happening at the time.  The client said he did not think it came from a fight with another person or an attempt to enter a home nearby.

Greg then explained how public intoxication cases were generally handled in the Torrance Court for such cases arising in Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach.  Greg recommended that the client attend at least ten Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings online and explained how proof of attending such classes could help in resolving the case on terms that were gentler than if he did nothing before court.

Greg also explained judicial diversion, a new program that came into effect on January 1, 2021, and permitted a judge to suspend proceedings to permit a defendant to complete certain classes or perform community service to “earn a dismissal.”

The client then retained Greg Hill & Associates.

Before the arraignment, the client did not attend any AA meetings, which was unexpected because Greg considered the client highly motivated to resolve the case on good terms.  Consequently, when Greg went to the arraignment on the client’s behalf in the Torrance Courthouse, he was a bit apprehensive of the terms the Redondo Beach City Prosecutors would suggest for resolution if the judge permitted judicial diversion.  After all, our client did nothing in advance of the arraignment.

Fortunately, however, the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor and the judge were not overly concerned with the client’s night of heavy drinking and the judge, based on recommendations from the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor, granted judicial diversion for a term of six months with only a requirement that our client attend 26 AA meetings, stay away from 2500 block of the Strand and obey all laws.

Our client was quite lucky to avoid any scars from this accident on his legal record, as if he completes judicial diversion, the police report will be ordered sealed and the notation of the criminal case will be removed from his record, leaving him with only a small scar on his face from his fall on the Strand after far too much alcohol one evening.

For more information about public intoxication and judicial diversion, please click on the following articles:
Client Reviews
"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
"Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him." S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
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