In 2017, our client lost his wallet, including his driver’s license. He went to the DMV and replaced his driver’s license.
In 2018, he moved to Austin, Texas and used his California driver’s license to drive there, with no problems until 2022 when his California license expired and he applied for a Texas driver’s license.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (the equivalent of the California DMV) told our client that he could not be issued a Texas driver’s license until he had his California driver’s license reinstated after his DUI there. Our client responded that he has never had a DUI. The clerk at the Texas Department of Public Safety then gave our client the case number and told our client he would need to clear it up with the California courts and the California DMV.
The client, now age 51 in 2022, then called Greg Hill & Associates and discussed the situation. The inability to have a driver’s license was driving the client’s wife crazy because she had to drive the client to work and everywhere else because the client was always getting pulled over otherwise, as he explained, “because I am of Middle Eastern descent and in Texas.”
Greg responded that he had handled a similar case for a client a few years earlier and explained what had to be done. Greg explained what a Petition for a Certificate of Identity Theft was under Penal Code § 530.6 was and, while the client whether his driver’s license was misused by the DUI defendant or if law enforcement simply made a clerical error in inputting the driver’s license number, it seemed to be the best was to get a judicial clearance for our client and an abstract from the court clerk to the DMV to fix a driver’s license associated with a criminal case.
The client then retained Greg Hill & Associates to prepare, file and serve the Petition for a Certificate of Identity Theft under Penal Code § 530.6.
Greg also obtained the docket on the DUI case, which was a second-time DUI for the defendant therein identified by our client’s driver’s license. Greg explained to the client that it appeared the defendant in that case was unaware that the wrong driver’s license number was recorded because, otherwise, the defendant would never have appeared in court, as he did five or six times, and he would have disregarded all obligations of probation, which the defendant met. The defendant even completed the SB-38 eighteen month program.
After our office filed and served the Petition for a Certificate of Identity Theft in the Metropolitan Courthouse (at 1945 S. Hill Street in Los Angeles), the court set a hearing date for the petition.
Greg Hill appeared for the hearing on the petition. The Los Angeles City Attorney assigned to the case, who had approximately ten years of legal experience, commented that he had never seen such a petition and asked how the petition arose, which Greg explained. The City Attorney then showed Greg the booking photo of the defendant in the DUI whose driver’s license was incorrectly listed with the driver’s license for our client. The difference in the two driver’s licenses was one digit, suggesting it was merely a clerical error by a law enforcement employee. The booking photo for the defendant also was clearly distinguishable from our client’s driver’s license photo.
The judge assigned to the case remarked that he had never seen such a petition before as well in his 30 years of legal experience. The judge also asked Greg what situation arose for our client leading to the petition and Greg explained. The judge then commented that such a petition was akin to a motion nun pro tunc to correct a sentencing error, for example, or a petition for a writ of coram nobis (to a trial court) or petition for a writ of coram vobis (to an appellate court).
Luckily, the clerk assigned to the department was familiar with the petition and knew how to prepare a Judicial Clearance form that Greg requested for the client in Texas and also knew how to prepare an abstract to send to the DMV to correct their records concerning the case.
The judge then signed the order and the clerk provided Greg the Judicial Clearance form for the client, as well as the signed order certifying identity theft, although the judge remarked he understood there probably was no identity theft in fact.
For more information about being a victim of identity theft, please click on the following articles: