Our client, then 29, entered into a plea bargain to resolve a case alleging violation of Penal Code § 273.5(a) in 2005 in the Santa Clarita Courthouse, also known as the Valencia Courthouse. It was the culmination of a tough period in his life.
He had grown up in New York City and attended a prestigious Division II liberal arts college in the Midwest, earning a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar. He then went to Europe for more education, learning Arabic and French while earning additional degrees, including a Masters in Egyptian archaeology. He then was awarded a full scholarship to UCLA to study for PhD in Egyptology.
In a Nutshell: Client contacts Greg Hill & Associates from overseas to have our office file the appropriate paperwork for a petition for dismissal (expungement) for the client in the Santa Clarita Courthouse. Greg then appears in court, files the petition and the judge granted the request a few weeks later.
While at UCLA, however, he became involved with a woman who, unknown to him, was a methamphetamine addict. The relationship turned for the worse once he discovered her addiction and he ultimately decided to leave her. This upset her greatly, as she had never been “dumped” before. She considered our client to be making a big mistake.
One day, consequently, as he was moving out of their joint apartment, she decided to call the cops and claim he had beat her up. She called the police and then, after calling them, scratched herself with her own fingernails on her neck area and gave herself a bloody nose by repeatedly punching herself in the nose. If he would not have her, she decided to make his educational accomplishments worthless and his life a struggle for employment, once convicted of domestic violence.
So as he was loading up his things in his car to leave her, the police arrived and arrested our client for felony domestic violence (Penal Code § 273.5(a)). The client protested his innocence, explaining that he never touched his now-former girlfriend. The police nonetheless took our client to the Newhall police station, where he was booked. He then had to post a bail bond for $50,000 to be released pending his court appearances.
The case was filed as a misdemeanor, the case resolved and the client completed probation in 2008. However, during the pendency of probation, his former girlfriend repeatedly tried to make contact with our client.
The client finished his PhD at UCLA, but was unable to find any job, given his criminal background. So he moved back overseas and continued earning even more degrees, hoping that he would one day be able to return to the United States and become a university professor.
He then learned that he was eligible to have his conviction expunged and e-mailed Greg Hill from overseas. Greg responded and explained how expungement did not erase or delete the conviction, but that it did allow our client to legally claim he had not been convicted insofar as this case.
The client later told us that he had e-mailed dozens of criminal defense attorneys, but none showed the patience, empathy and depth of knowledge that Greg showed.
Greg explained how the expungement process proceeded in preparing, filing and serving a petition for dismissal under Penal Code § 1203.4 (also called expungement) and the client retained Greg Hill & Associates.
Greg Hill & Associates then prepared, filed and served the petition in the Santa Clarita courthouse. Greg also paid the $120 filing fee and eagerly awaited the outcome. The petition explained the client’s circumstances since the case had been resolved and what the client had done with his life after his probation ended.
About three weeks after the petition was filed, our office was mailed a signed order granting the petition for dismissal. There was no hearing on the petition. Greg happily pdf’d the signed order and e-mailed it to the client, who was ecstatic over the expungement, which removed a major barrier in his path to being hired at a U.S. university and returning to the U.S.
For more information about expungement issues, please click on the following articles:
- Is Expungement Worth It?
- What Does the New Law in 2015 Concerning Expunged Convictions Mean for State License Applications?
- Trial Court That Denied Expungement Because Petitioner Given a Five Year Joint Suspended Sentence Is Reversed on Appeal