Our client, age 54, had been working for one company for the last twenty years. His job was one he had worked very hard to earn, rising from the lowliest starting entry job up to a supervisory position. He had parents in the local area that he supported financially.
In a Nutshell: Second-time indecent exposure after drug and alcohol binge, client age 54 with employment issues and a recent death in the family, Long Beach Superior Court, no jail (or prison), but 90 days of community service when client pleads in the open.
Five years earlier, he had been arrested for indecent exposure after he went on a methamphetamine and alcohol binge and had exposed himself several times from his car’s front seat to a pedestrian nearby. The pedestrian had tried to walk away, but our client had driven around the block several times until he found him again. The victim had written down our client’s license plate as he drove away. He then called the police. Two weeks later, the police knocked on his front door and arrested him.
In that case, Greg had represented the client in the Long Beach Superior Court, reducing the charge to a misdemeanor, but not without the client having to register as a sex offender for life. The case was ineligible for reduction to something less severe because our client had a prior lewd conduct charge from fifteen years earlier in Downey.
Our office had thought this first indecent exposure case in Long Beach was his last. However, it was not, as one Sunday, the client called Greg Hill & Associates to report he had been contacted by the police again about another incident that he, again, had no memory of at all.
The client explained that he had not used any drugs for about five years, but his father had recently passed away. This had created a great deal of stress for him, dealing with his surviving mom and helping her with everything his father had previously handled for over fifty years for the family.
The stress to our client drove him to use meth and alcohol again, in a similar binge, with similar results. He had again allegedly exposed himself from his car to a pedestrian several times, as before, as well as to a second person, too. The client was devastated. He remembered nothing of the day, as he was so intoxicated by alcohol and meth.
Greg explained that the punishment for a conviction in a second time indecent exposure case is a minimum of sixteen months in state prison to a maximum of three years in state prison. Greg further explained that with the facts of the second case being so similar to the first case, but with two victims in the second case, custody time would be likely.
Greg consequently recommended that the client immediately enroll in narcotics anonymous (NA) classes and sexual compulsiveness classes, too. The client immediately did so.
Long Beach Superior Courthouse
At the arraignment in the Long Beach Superior Court, Greg explained that his client remembered nothing of the events and had been grieving over the loss of his father. The specially assigned prosecutor was very nice, but explained that due to the facts and our client’s prior history, resolution of the case would involve one year in county jail.
Our client quickly realized such time in custody, even if only 75 days of the full year, would mean he would lose his job. It meant he would emerge from county jail (where such a prison sentence would be served under AB109) having to start over at age 54. It meant he would have to explain over and over why he left his prior employer after 20 years. It was going to be a mess.
The nice prosecutor then got transferred to another court and a new, younger prosecutor took over the case. She was mid-20’s and very militant. She stated to Greg that she had reviewed the file and spoken to her supervisor. The two had agreed to increase the offer to sixteen months in state prison. They did not care about his employment situation or that fact that he supported his elderly mom.
Greg also showed, in mitigation, that our client had attended over ten sexual compulsiveness meetings and over 40 NA meetings. The prosecutor calmly looked at the records and told Greg, “quite frankly, I do not care.”
Greg then wrote a letter to the young DA’s supervisor, explaining in writing why probation would be the fitting way to resolve the case and submitting our client’s resume, lengthy awards history and his NA and sexual compulsiveness meeting records. The supervising attorney refused to lower her offer either.
Finally, Greg approached the Long Beach Superior Court judge, as a last resort, to plead in the open. The judge, himself over 54, understood the client’s employment issues and, without saying that the crime was minor or insignificant, appreciated the client’s efforts to proactively prevent this from ever happening again.
The judge then sentenced our client to five years of formal probation, contingent upon performing ninety days of community service. Our client was extremely happy and relieved that he would keep his job. The young prosecutor was upset.
For more information about indecent exposure and sex offenses in general, please click on the following articles:
- What Is Indecent Exposure (Penal Code § 314)?
- What Convictions Require Registration As a Sex Offender under Penal Code §290?
- One Count of Indecent Exposure (Penal Code § 314) Proper Even If Multiple People Witness Conduct