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Hermosa Beach, Realtor, Infraction (PC 415(2)) Expunged

In early December 2019, our client, then age 54, was experiencing depression due to the recent death of her father, her own experiences with menopause (particularly weight gain) and her sputtering career as a realtor.  Her doctor had prescribed medication for the client, but the medication effects were often too great or too little.  The doctor was “bracketing” the dosages to try to make the medication “fit” the client.

The Christmas holidays seems to magnify feelings of depression for some, such as our client.  To relieve such emotions, our client would often take her granddaughter for walks.  Watching an innocent child explore her surroundings and ask the questions children do was her panacea.  Her joy was contagious and infectious, greatly reducing the client’s stress.

Accordingly, she went to her daughter’s home on 10th Street and knocked on the door, unannounced, hoping to take her granddaughter on a walk.  Our client’s daughter could see her mom knocking and ignored her.  Our client continued knocking for nearly twenty minutes, eventually causing the daughter to call the Hermosa Beach Police Department to report a “trespasser.”

The police arrived and arrested our client for violation of Penal Code § 602(o), trespassing, a misdemeanor.  Our client was booked and held for several hours for observation.

The Redondo Beach City Prosecutor’s office filed a criminal complaint against our client, alleging a violation of § 602(o).  

The client hired Greg Hill & Associates and we eventually resolved the case for an infraction-level violation of Penal Code § 415(2), “making a loud and unreasonable noise,” after she paid the $379 Hermosa Beach booking fee and $227 in court fees.

While avoiding a conviction for trespassing was helpful, particularly for a realtor, our client was still convicted of a crime, albeit an infraction.

A year after the conviction, Greg Hill contacted the client to ask if she was interested in having the conviction expunged, especially since she was a realtor.  Greg carefully explained that expungement did not erase or delete the conviction, but did change the last plea from no contest or guilty back to not guilty and dismissed the complaint.  

The client responded that she was keen to have the conviction expunged.  Greg then explained that the legal requirements for expungement of an infraction were different than those for expungement of a misdemeanor or felony conviction because with an infraction, there is no probationary period.  

Instead, for expungement of an infraction, the party requesting expungement must show and the judge must find that he or she “has lived an honest and upright life” (Penal Code § 1203.4a(a)).  The party must also not be on probation for any other crime, facing an open charge or be in custody (in jail or prison).

Living “an honest and upright life” is generally regarded as doing more than just obeying all laws.  It has been considered as having employment and involving oneself in the community, i.e., attending church, volunteering through some organization or somehow participating in community events.  

In our client’s case, we prepared not only the judicial council form for the petition for dismissal, but attached a short memorandum of points and authorities and a declaration from our client, explaining how she had been working as a realtor the last year, had helped out her daughter with her family and had remained free of any other trouble.

The petition was then filed in the Torrance Courthouse and served to the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor’s office.  The court clerk then set a hearing date for the petition and Greg Hill went to court on the morning for the appearance.

The judge had reviewed the petition in advance of the hearing and granted the petition even before the hearing was scheduled.  When Greg arrived at court and checked in for the hearing in the courtroom, the clerk advised Greg of the ruling.  Greg then shared the good news with the client, who was very happy.

For more information about the expungement issues in this case, please click on the following articles:
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