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Public Intoxication, Rancho Cucamonga, 10 NA’s, Dismissal

Our client, age 29, grew up in Missouri.  He had a bumpy teenage experience that included the use of drugs.  He did not go on to college like many of his peers and, in his early 20’s, began stealing to find items to sell to support his drug habit.  He hit “rock bottom” when he was arrested for a residential burglary and sentenced to state prison for three years.

After leaving state prison, he was paroled and, upon finishing parole, moved to Riverside County in California, where he found a steady job working in a warehouse.  It was decent pay and he was away from his friends that used drugs in Missouri.  His parents were proud of him making a fresh start and even talked about him going to college.

All was not well, however, as he had resumed drug use.
In June 2022, he purchased some methamphetamine and ingested it at home, alone.  The effect was far stronger and different than he had previously experienced and the client began to suspect the methamphetamine had actually been laced with fentanyl.  With great anxiety, he therefore called 911 to request medical assistance.

Paramedics arrived and our client explained what had happened.  He was taken to the hospital and monitored as his symptoms gradually dissipated.  Law enforcement was called to the hospital to talk to the client and they issued him a ticket for violation of Penal Code § 647(f), “public intoxication,” a misdemeanor.  He was asked to sign a promise to appear for his arraignment in the Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse in about two months and signed the promise.

Police could have cited him for violation of Health & Safety Code § 11550, being under the influence of a controlled substance that was not lawfully prescribed, but did not.  It should be noted that § 647(f) is most commonly understood to be in the context of alcohol, not drugs.  There is certainly less of a stigma associated with a violation of § 647(f), rather than § 11550.

When the client was released from the hospital, his father called Greg Hill & Associates, as the client had apparently discussed the incident with his father.

The client’s father explained the facts of the case to Greg and asked how such a case would likely be handled, as he was concerned his son may return to custody and be fired from his job.  Greg explained that in his experience such a case would most likely be handled by informal diversion or even judicial diversion, if necessary, despite the client’s rather significant criminal history for residential burglary.  Greg told the client’s father that he did not expect the client to be sentenced to any time in jail.

Greg explained what judicial diversion was and how long it could be (up to two years).  Greg further explained that upon completion of judicial diversion, the case was dismissed under Penal Code § 1001.94, which made the police report and court file eligible for sealing under Penal Code § 851.91.  

Greg also explained what informal diversion was and how it could be offered by the prosecutor or even the judge.  Greg explained that the terms would most likely include attendance at ten to up to even 52 Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings (one per week for a year), community service, an obligation to obey all laws and perhaps stay away from areas where drug dealers and drug users congregate (with the exception of NA meetings).

Greg suggested that the client attend ten NA meetings prior to the arraignment and to send him documentary proof of having attended the meetings, i.e., his sign-in sheet with dates showing when meetings were attended, the names of the meetings and the meeting facilitator.  Greg explained that he would send the client a NA sign-in sheet for the client to use and that meetings could be via Zoom or in person.

The client’s father retained Greg on behalf of his son and Greg thereafter appeared in the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse for the client’s arraignment.  Prior to the arraignment, the client did not attend any NA meetings, so Greg was a bit concerned how the case might proceed.

Very luckily, the judge assigned to the case was in a good mood and offered to simply dismiss the case if our client attended ten NA meetings.  Greg happily accepted this offer and continued the arraignment for about two months to allow the client to attend ten NA meetings, which he did.  The client, as well as his father, were extremely happy with this resolution, particularly because it appeared that the client would keep his job.

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Client Reviews
"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
"Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him." S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
"Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards." L.H., Torrance
"Dear Greg, Thank you again for all your help. Your professionalism and thoroughness is greatly admired. I will definitely recommend you to my friends if they ever need legal help." V.L., Carson
"Thanks for investing in my case. I talked to other attorneys out there and they had an arms-length of attitude, but not you. Your intensity and interest helped a lot." C.R., Pomona