Our client, in her early forties and never married, was charged with stalking (Penal Code § 646.9(a)), a misdemeanor, and two counts of violating a criminal protective order (Penal Code § 273.6 (a)), also a misdemeanor. The protective order had only been in place for about two weeks before she violated it and then violated it every single day thereafter.
Summary: Client stalks ex-boyfriend in Rancho Palos Verdes, violating a protective order he obtained previously, case resolved in Torrance Superior Court for summary probation.
The alleged victim was her ex-boyfriend, who had broken up with her and left her feeling terrible. Her violation of the protective order was rather peaceful, but it still demonstrated that she was unable to obey a judge and that became a crime.
He was a successful businessman. She was unemployed and wanted a better life. She lived in an apartment in Harbor City. He lived in Rancho Palos Verdes. He was the missing ingredient to a better life for her and, consequently, she wanted him back in her life. She enjoyed going out to dinner with him and going shopping at Nordstrom. She felt she deserved it. He paid for it all.
The case was brought in the Torrance Superior Court by the Torrance City Prosecutor.
The alleged victim of the stalking, in Rancho Palos Verdes, claimed that our client had rang his home’s doorbell dozens of times, slowly driven by their home back and forth staring into the house and made calls to his home phone without saying anything. He knew it was our client because of caller I.D. The ex-boyfriend lived with his elderly mother, who was disabled and in her late seventies.
View from Rancho Palos Verdes
The charges and potential criminal record were particularly troubling for our client, as she was searching for a job. She had no prior criminal record and twenty years of experience in one industry, which these charges seemed to erase or at least jeopardize as being meaningless. She had lost her job when her employer was bought out by another larger corporation in the same industry and the new employer chose not to keep her employed.
The initial offer from the Torrance City Prosecutor was one year in county jail (she would be eligible for good-time, work time credits that would cap her time at 50% maximum and since she was female, she would actually serve closer to ten or twenty percent of the year), plus five years of informal probation with a continued stay away order and a requirement that she attend 52 batterer’s classes.
Our client and Greg Hill worked hard to show to the Torrance City Prosecutor that no violence or threats of violence were involved in any of the alleged acts. The City Prosecutor agreed with this, dismissing the stalking charge and one of the charges related to violation of a protective order. This left one count of violating a criminal protective order (related to an earlier case involving her and her boyfriend wherein she violated a civil protective order).
Greg Hill then prepared a Defense Position Letter, with a Mitigation Packet, to the Torrance City Prosecutor, giving her copies of the client’s many awards from work (a “Good Gal” packet) and pointing out the errors in the police report to suggest were this case heard by a jury, the reporting police officer and even the victim may be viewed with skepticism, or at least with doubtful credibility due to the sloppiness of the police report. This could mean a reasonable doubt existed and that a jury might return a defense verdict.
The case was resolved with a plea bargain wherein our client paid a small fine ($300), plus penalties and assessments (meaning about $1,400 total), agreed to perform 200 hours of community service, agreed to attend counseling sessions on ending a relationship (offered at Torrance Memorial Hospital) while on three years of summary probation. She did not have to serve any time in county jail, which was her biggest concern. The client was quite happy, as she was able to continue looking for a job and attend counseling on how to get over a broken relationship.
For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
- What Punishment Do I Face for Violating a Restraining Order?
- I Face a Civil Restraining Order for Domestic Violence and a Criminal Charge of Domestic Violence – What Should I Do?
- Criminal Protective Order in Domestic Violence Case Is Improper When It Bars Father from Contacting His Kids, Who Were Not Victims in the Case