Our client, his wife and their two young girls lived in Palos Verdes Estates. The two girls attended the Palos Verdes schools, which is why the parents moved to the area from Iran.
The husband worked as an information security analyst with a large, Fortune-500 bank and worked long hours. His children were active in the extracurricular activities of the school and often attended weekend competitions.
One weekend, his daughters and his wife went to Las Vegas for a dance competition. Our client grew suspicious that his wife was having an affair with someone in Las Vegas, perhaps with someone from Palos Verdes. His phone calls went unanswered and he became more and more convinced that she was having an affair.
When his wife returned on the bus with his daughters, he met her in the parking lot and, according to his wife’s statement to the police, acted odd.
When the family returned to the home, he exploded into anger, accusing her of being unfaithful. His wife denied any type of affair, which only made him more angry. He then punched his wife, striking her multiple times in the face and knocking her to the ground. He then grabbed her foot and dragged her from the family room into the kitchen. Once there, he grabbed a large butcher knife from the dishwasher and stated, “Now you will die.”
The commotion caught the attention of the two young daughters, who rushed into the kitchen and began hitting their father with a cane and tugging at his clothes. At that moment, the wife escaped and ran out the front door. She then called 911.
The police came and promptly arrested our client. He was charged with felony domestic violence (Penal Code § 273.5(a)), felony criminal threats (Penal Code § 422(a)) with a sentence enhancement as a serious felony under Penal Code § 1192.7 as well as Penal Code § 1192.7(c)(23) and for using a deadly and dangerous weapon under Penal Code § 12022(b)(1) (this enhancement adds one year in state prison). This was in the Torrance Superior Court.
Through plea negotiations stretching several months, Greg was able to resolve the case with no custody time, although his probation period of five years included a joint suspended sentence of four years. The client also had to perform 45 days of community service and attend 52 batterers classes.
The conviction caused our client to lose his job. So, once he finished his batterers classes and community service, he called our office asking for us to request early termination of probation and then expungement (expungement is permissible on a joint suspended sentence). The first time the client called, a year of probation had passed and Greg told the client that it was very unlikely that a judge would terminate probation early. Greg refused to take the client’s money to make a motion for early termination of probation that would surely be denied.
Undeterred, the client himself went to court and asked the judge for early termination of probation. The judge denied the request, explaining that the deal he agreed to was five years of formal probation, not one.
Undeterred, the client returned to court every six months on his own (without requesting the assistance of counsel ever), asking the same judge for the same early termination of probation. Each time, the judge told him no.
Finally, after four and half years of probation, the client asked Greg if he could help him terminate probation early and Greg agreed. Greg and his office then prepared the motion, filed it, served it and appeared in court on the hearing. The judge granted the motion, commenting, “your client finally saw the light and got you involved, huh?”
Greg then filed the petition for expungement of the conviction. The request included a request to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor, but this was denied, yet the expungement was granted.