Hermosa Beach, Public Nuisance, First Ever AB2124 Granted, Dismissal
Apparently, the two folks urinating could not wait in line, so they left out the bar’s back door and decided to re-enter through the front door by walking around to the front once they were done.Without All the Details, What Happened?: First ever grant of judicial diversion in Hermosa Beach public urination case, case to be dismissed if client pays $600 to City of Hermosa Beach and stays out of trouble for one year.
The client was so shocked and intimidated that he complied. The officer then filled out the ticket and handed it to our client. Our client was fuming mad, but knew that if he said anything to the police officer, he was likely to be handcuffed and taken to the police station.
The client called our office, extremely upset at feeling he was the victim of an overzealous police officer who was determined to give out tickets.
Greg discussed the case facts with the client and described a new pilot program set out in Assembly Bill 2124 that was only applicable in Los Angeles County. Greg explained that the program, later legislated at Penal Code §§ 1001.94 to 1001.98, was not for everyone. For example, while the offense of allegedly violating Penal Code § 372 (“public nuisance”) was eligible, the client also had to be personally eligible. Greg asked the client many questions about the client’s criminal history and found out he was personally eligible, too.
Greg then told the client he would file such a motion and after the arraignment, Greg did so.
Little did Greg know at the time of filing the motion for judicial diversion, but our client’s case was the very first Hermosa Beach public urination case to seek diversion under the new AB 2124 program. While the program did come into effect on January 1, 2015, it was early February, 2015 now, but no other defense attorney had requested it. Our client would be the Rosa Parks of Hermosa Beach public urination cases.
The judge handling the case reviewed Greg’s written motion and fully understood that Hermosa Beach ticketed approximately 340 people per year for the same offense. Therefore, if the judge were to grant the client’s motion, she would be obligated to do the same thing for 340 more people per year.
She requested briefing by the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor on the precedential issue she faced. The Redondo Beach City Prosecutor provided a written opposition, with maps showing that there were over 14 public restrooms in the downtown Hermosa Beach area and showing their locations, suggesting our client had no excuse for not using the restrooms that were available.
Greg explained that while there were over a dozen such restrooms available to the public, they were all located just inches from the sand and not anywhere near where the client had been. There were no signs to the restrooms and the lighting at night was poor.
The judge struggled with the gravity of the request for diversion, as she had never allowed diversion on such a case in the past despite many such requests. However, now AB 2124 permitted her to do so if the case and the defendant were eligible, as our client was here. Yet the judge still retained discretion to deny diversion. She discussed Hermosa Beach’s problem with public urination and why it needed to be punished.
However, she granted the motion, requiring our client to pay $600 to the City of Hermosa Beach, hopefully to allow the city more funding to provide additional public restrooms with sufficient lighting and signs letting the public know about the new restrooms.
The client was very happy to avoid a conviction and more than happy to pay $600 to have his case dismissed.
For more information about some of the issues raised in this case, click on the following articles:
Watch our video about sex offenses by clicking here.