Justia Lawyer Rating
Best Attorneys of America
Super Lawyers
Superior DUI Attorney 2017
10 Best Law Firms
Top One Percent 2017
The National Trial Lawyers
Best of Thervo 2017
10 Best Law Firms
Criminal Defense Attorneys

Santa Clarita Courthouse, Petition to Seal Arrest Granted

In mid-July 2021, our client was arrested by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clarita Station, for allegedly violating Penal Code § 243(e)(1), also known as misdemeanor battery upon a co-habitant or spouse.  

The alleged victim was his wife.  Our client, age 58, had called the police to report an argument with his wife, also age 58, and he was arrested once police arrived.  Our client then spent the night in the Santa Clarita jail, which was quite traumatic for our client because he was not a U.S. citizen (he was from Sweden) and he had watched many movies where in U.S. jails are violent, unpredictable places.

A few days later, the Santa Clarita District Attorney’s Office decided to not file a criminal complaint against our client, based on insufficient evidence, as stated in the Certificate of Release sent to our client.  

The client was happy with receiving this letter and believed he would move on with his life.  However, his employer terminated him shortly thereafter due to a general business slowdown related to COVID-19, not the arrest, and the client began searching for new employment.

Months went by and he could not find a job.  He suspected that his criminal history for a detention based on battery upon a cohabitant or spouse was seen by potential employers as a good reason not to hire him.   He felt stigmatized.  After all, our client had Googled himself and found several websites providing information about his “arrest,” horrifying him.  

He then called Greg Hill & Associates about sealing the record of the arrest.  He explained to Greg what had happened about a year earlier and his unemployment, which was causing he and his wife great stress.  

Greg explained to the client how sealing differed from expungement and how an order to seal would remove the record of his detention from his California DOJ record for all purposes unless he were to apply for employment with law enforcement.  Greg cautioned that if the record of the arrest or detention was already on the Internet, an order to seal would not remove that, but he could mail the order to seal to the domain owner of each website and request that his name be removed from their website.

Greg asked the client is he had had any prior arrests for domestic violence because one is excluded from eligibility for sealing under Penal Code § 851.91(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) if there is a “pattern” of certain crimes such as domestic violence, elder abuse or child abuse.  

Greg wanted to make sure the sheriffs stated the reason for his arrest was suspicion of violating Penal Code § 243(e)(1), as it had a one year statute of limitations, and not suspicion of violating Penal Code § 273.5, which had a five-year statute of limitations (based on Senate Bill 273, a change in the law in 2019).  This was significant for him because one could not file a petition to seal under the statute of limitations expired.  The client then emailed Greg the certificate of detention, which stated 243(e)(1).

Greg then told the client he was qualified for relief under §§ 851.91 and 851.92 and that Greg could prepare, file, serve and appear in court on a petition to seal.  The client then hired Greg Hill & Associates to perform such work.

Our office then prepared the judicial council form and supplemented it with a short points and authorities explaining the law on sealing.  The points and authorities included a short declaration from our client explaining why he wanted the record of his arrest sealed.

Our office then filed the petition and served it to the Santa Clarita District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department in Santa Clarita.

About four weeks later, the clerk in the Santa Clarita Courthouse set a hearing date and notified our office of this.

Greg then appeared in court for the hearing on the petition.  The District Attorney did oppose the petition.  The judge, however, looked very carefully at the petition, apparently because he had never seen such a request before.  As he did so, he made dramatic facial expressions that reflected skepticism and hesitation to grant the petition.  As Greg anxiously awaited the judge’s ruling, the judge paused and looked at the ceiling in the courtroom, as if he was struggling to decide how to rule.  He then returned his eyes to Greg and said, “Well, I guess your client meets all the statutory requirements.  I am granting this petition.”

The client was so happy, he called Greg after receiving the news via email.  The client cried, saying this ruling will change his life.

For more information about a petition to seal, please click on the following articles:
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