Our client, age 32, was arguing with her boyfriend at their home in the Naples area of Long Beach. Alcohol had been consumed by each prior to the argument, which became physical.
At some point, our client’s boyfriend had pinned down our client on the floor or on the couch with the client’s back to ground or the couch (she did not recall) and she reached out to grab his shirt, tearing it by the neckline.
This got the attention of the boyfriend and he backed away, but then grabbed his car keys to take a drive, perhaps to leave to his friend’s house to spend the night. Our client knew that her boyfriend was quite drunk, so she tried to stop him from leaving to drive and, in the process, scratched him on his arm with her fingernails.
The commotion was loud enough to cause a neighbor to call 911 and report the situation. The police quickly arrived and, seeing our client’s torn shirt and scratches, arrested our client.
Our confused client was then taken to the Long Beach Police Department. Her boyfriend tried to explain to the police that the scratches to his arm were caused by our client attempting to stop him from driving while drunk and the torn shirt was caused in self-defense. The police left the scene without even taking photographs of the boyfriend’s torn shirt or the scratched arm.
Our client then spent the night in the Long Beach Police Station and was released the following morning after posting a $50,000 bail bond with a promise to appear in only about three weeks at the Long Beach Superior Court. Our client was quite embarrassed about being arrested for domestic violence because she was (ironically) studying to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) counselor. She had no prior criminal history. She worked part time while going to school.
Posting bail for a felony offense gave her anxiety that maybe she did not know how serious the incident really was. She and her boyfriend then spoke with many attorneys and researched many others online, eventually speaking with Greg Hill.
It was a Saturday afternoon when the two called Greg and Greg was walking into a grocery store at the time, but he paused to speak with the two for over an hour, listening to the two explain how the arrest took place and the client’s career plans.
Greg explained how the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office would most likely be assigned the case and, since the police did not even take photographs of the scratched arm or the torn shirt, Greg commented that he believed the case may not even be filed.
Greg further explained how in some of the more minor domestic violence cases, especially when the suspect has no prior criminal history and is cooperative with police, an office hearing may be arranged to try to resolve the case short of a criminal filing.
Greg also explained how the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office has used the P.A.T.H. program (Promising Adults, Tomorrow’s Heroes) to handle minor misdemeanors, although such a class is typically limited to suspects ages 18 to 24 and our client would be probably considered too old.
Nonetheless, Greg explained that he would write a letter to the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, suggesting that our client’s case be handled through a no file decision, or at least through an office hearing or the P.A.T.H. program. The letter included a declaration from the client’s boyfriend, explaining that his torn shirt was caused by our client acting in self-defense and his scratched arm was caused when our client tried to prevent him from driving while drunk. The letter also included proof of our client having enrolled in an approved batterer’s program and the client’s resume, to show she is an otherwise achievement-oriented person who would regard the no file with great appreciation and that she had already learned her lesson from the arrest.
Greg then mailed off the letter, which also requested a copy of the police report, the officer’s body-cam video footage, all photographs, a copy of the 911 audio and any supplemental reports.
A similar letter was sent to the Long Beach Police Department.
About three days before the arraignment, our office received a call from the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office advising us that no case was being filed against our client. It was quite unusual for the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office to reach out to call us as they did.
Nonetheless, Greg did appear with the client for her arraignment at the Long Beach Superior Court just in case a case was indeed filed, but no case was filed. Our client was extremely happy with this outcome.
For more information about domestic violence and no file situations, please click on the following articles: