Our client, age 23 and a recent graduate of Long Beach State, went to the bars on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach with a few friends. It was a Friday night and this would be a good end to the work week.
The group had enjoyed the evening and said their farewells to each other. Each then headed off to his or her car, or to an Uber pick up point. Our client headed back to his parked car, using an alley near Pine and Third Street. It was a short drive to his home in Long Beach.
Along the way in the alley, he realized he needed to urinate and it was too far to walk back to the bar. It was also a bit too far to wait until he drove home. Accordingly, he spotted a dark area long the side of the alley where he would not be seen (he hoped) and went there, urinating on the wall of the alley.
As he was zipping up his pants, a Long Beach Police Officer in uniform on foot walked up to our client, apparently having witnessed his urinating. He asked our client if he knew it was against the law to urinate in public and our client told him he did not think it was. The officer responded that it was and asked our client for his driver’s license.
Our client handed the officer his driver’s license and the officer filled out a ticket for violation of Long Beach Municipal Code § 9.25.010, urinating in public. When the officer finished, he handed our client his license back and asked him to sign the bottom of the ticket as a promise to appear in the Long Beach Superior Court on Magnolia Avenue in about three months. Our client signed the ticket, which was then detached along a perforated edge from the officer’s ticket book, and handed to our client. The officer then wished the client well and left.
Our client was somewhat jarred by the surprise encounter and even more surprised when he looked at the ticket more closely at home, under better light, to realize that violation of § 9.25.010 was a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and / or up to a $1,000 fine.
The client scoured the Internet for advice and a criminal defense attorney who had experience handling such crimes. He found the Greg Hill & Associates website and called the number.
He spoke with Greg and explained what had happened, as well as his concerns with his new job as a business systems analyst. He did not want to lose his job.
Greg listened to the client and explained that he had handled quite a few such tickets over the years in Long Beach. He then described a relatively new pre-filing diversion program the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office was using called P.A.T.H., which stood for “Promising Adults, Tomorrow’s Hope,” which our client seemed qualified for referral to for 9.25.010.
Greg then explained what pre-filing diversion was and how it was a program the client would be asked to complete, which if completed, would result in no criminal case being filed. This would mean no conviction and no criminal history because our client was never booked at the police station (he was just cited and released on scene).
Greg then described what was involved in the P.A.T.H. program, its costs, its time requirements, and how it was not just some one-hour class involving a small commitment. Rather, it was more of a job skills / life skills workshop aiming to instill ambition and goals, things our client perhaps did not need too much encouragement with, but that he should tolerate for the benefit of no case being filed against him.
The client agreed that while the class was perhaps intended for a person without a job who was aimless or even homeless, he should gladly accept referral to the P.A.T.H. program and disregard any challenge to his ego.
Greg then wrote the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s office a letter of representation for the client and suggested that the case and our client be referred to the P.A.T.H. program rather than filing the case in court and creating a criminal record for our client.
Weeks went by with no response from the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s office to our letter. However, about two weeks before the arraignment, our client received a letter from the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office inviting him to participate in the P.A.T.H. program in lieu of having a case filed against him for violation of 9.25.010.
Our client immediately advised us of this letter and happily enrolled at the office of the Long Beach City Prosecutor.
He then did complete the program, stopping the prosecution of him and preventing any criminal history from his public urination ticket.
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