In 2018, when our client was just 18 years old and a recent high school graduate from North Torrance High School, she was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting (Penal Code § 459.5) at the Sephora store at the Del Amo Mall.
The store’s loss prevention officer had observed our client place a Versace perfume bottle and a Nars brand lipliner into her shopping back and walk out of the store without paying for either item. She was stopped about 30 feet outside the store and taken into a back office at the Sephora store.
The Torrance Police Department was called and our client was taken to the Torrance Police Department, where she was booked and released with a promise signed by her to appear in the Torrance Superior Court for her arraignment about three months later.
The client called up Greg Hill & Associates and spoke with Greg Hill about her case. She described what had happened and explained that she was pregnant with a baby girl and was about to married to a U.S. Marine about to deploy to Futenma Marine Corps Air Station for three years on the island of Okinawa in Japan. Greg had been deployed to Japan for six months after the Gulf War in 1991 when Greg was in the Marines, so Greg told the client that he had landed at Futenma and knew the general area.
The client described how she could not be in court for her arraignment and Greg assured her that he could appear for her and request diversion for her. Greg suggested that the client enroll in and take an online shoplifting prevention course through Logan Social Services, which the client did immediately and then deployed to Futenma with her husband.
Greg appeared for the client in the Torrance Courthouse at her arraignment, was fortunate enough to have the case referred to informal diversion and the case was dismissed after a year. The case was dismissed under Penal Code § 1385.
When the case was pending, Greg was able to communicate with the client through e-mail while she was in Japan with her husband.
Three years later, the client returned to the United States, divorced her husband and set out on a life as a single mom with a young daughter. She was struggling to find work and remembered that Greg had mentioned sealing the arrest record and court file to remove the record of the theft case from her criminal history.
She therefore reached out to Greg Hill & Associates about sealing the record. She again spoke with Greg about her goals and how getting a job, even with a record of her shoplifting case being dismissed, was difficult. Greg then explained how a petition to seal an arrest and court file under Penal Code § 851.91 was handled.
Greg explained that if the petition were granted, the record of the arrest and the court filing would be erased, deleted or removed from the client’s Department of Justice record visible to the public, but would remain visible only if she were to apply for a job in law enforcement. It would otherwise be invisible to everyone else, including potential employers.
She then retained Greg Hill & Associates to prepare, file and serve the petition to seal the arrest and court file regarding her 2018 arrest for shoplifting and the subsequent court file. Greg Hill & Associates then prepared the petition, which included a brief declaration from the client concerning her youth, her need to get steady employment and how the record of her shoplifting was making this difficult.
The petition was then served on the Torrance Police Department and the Torrance City Prosecutor’s office and filed in the Torrance Superior Court. The court then set a hearing date and Greg appeared in the Torrance Superior Court for the client.
The Torrance City Prosecutor did not oppose the petition and the judge granted the petition, signing the order to seal the arrest record from the 2018 arrest and the court file. The client was very happy with this result.
For more information about a petition to seal court and arrest records under Penal Code §§ 851.91 and 851.92, please click on the following articles: