Huntington Beach, Client Bloodies Girlfriend's Nose, PC 415

Our client, age 32 and with no prior criminal record, had just enjoyed an evening at a bar with clients and his girlfriend, age 30.  Our client had not drunk any alcohol, but his girlfriend freely enjoyed many glasses of wine.

As our client was driving home, with his girlfriend in the front passenger seat, the girlfriend accused our client of staring at a waitress.  Our client admitted that he thought the waitress had “nice legs.”  The girlfriend became somewhat jealous and began an argument, punctuated by hitting our client on the top of the head about every minute.  The car was traveling close to seventy miles per hour on the freeway at the time.
Synopsis:  Huntington Beach, Client Hits Girlfriend in Nose, Causes Bloody Nose and Emergency Room Visit, Reduced to Disturbing the Peace (Penal Code 415)
When our client would not respond, the drunken girlfriend began hitting him harder and harder.  As a result of one hit, our client swerved into another lane and felt his adrenaline surge.  He then warned his girlfriend to stop hitting him, but this only emboldened her more and her hits became more frequent and stronger.  Finally, our client, in self-defense and with his eyes looking forward on the road, reached out to his right to hit his girlfriend on the shoulder to get her to stop.

Unfortunately, his hand connected with his girlfriend’s nose instead and blood went everywhere.  Our client pulled over and helped his girlfriend stop the bleeding.  The two then went home in silence.

Once home, the bleeding did not stop, so the two went to the emergency room, where our client was diagnosed with loose teeth and a possible broken nose.  The police were summoned, but not before our client left the hospital to return home.

Our client was arrested within hours and booked on felony domestic violence.  He quickly hired an attorney, but was disappointed in that attorney’s performance in the Westminster court.  He thereafter contacted Greg Hill & Associates.

Our office substituted into the matter, filed as a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code § 273.5 (Domestic Violence) and began negotiating with the District Attorney, pointing out how self defense and mutual combat were real defenses in this case.  Our office then submitted a Defense Position Letter describing the facts left out of the police report, discussing the legal defenses, and a presenting a declaration from the girlfriend conceding to her intoxication level and our client’s possible self defense.  

The District Attorney handling the case refused to reduce the charges at all or negotiate on the plea bargain, which included 52 weeks of the Batterer’s program and significant fines.  Our office consequently contacted the handing district attorney’s supervisor, who after more negotiation, agreed to reduce the case to a disturbing the peace (Penal Code § 415).

Our client was happy with the result, as he avoided the 52 weeks of classes and some significant fines.  His record also showed a disturbing the peace, rather than a domestic violence charge, which carries with it a very negative stigma.  As an owner of a small business with many clients, this was extremely important for our client.

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