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Second-Time DUI Conviction, 0.19% BAC, Downey, Expunged

In February 2008, our client, then 36 years old, entered into a no contest plea at the Downey Superior Court to a violation of Vehicle Code § 23152(b), also known as DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, by weight.  At the time, the client was represented by the public defender.

This was a second-time DUI.  Our client’s BAC was measured after his arrest at 0.19%, so the prosecution alleged under Vehicle Code § 23578 that his BAC was 0.15% or above, which our client admitted as part of the plea bargain.  

There was no car accident and the client was not driving with a passenger at the time.  He made an unsafe lane change, allegedly, and when a CHP officer driving behind him observed this, he was pulled over.

The terms of the plea bargain were that our client was sentenced to three years of summary (or informal) probation on the following terms and conditions: serve 96 hours in county jail, with credit for 48 hours; payment of a court fine of $390, plus penalties and assessments ($2,049); enrollment in and completion of the SB 38 program; and enrollment in and attendance at the Hospital and Morgue (HAM) program and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel (VIP) program.  

Count one, an alleged misdemeanor violation of Vehicle Code § 23152(a), driving under the influence of alcohol, was dismissed.  

Our client then complied with all terms and conditions of probation and his probation terminated with the passage of time in February 2011.
Due to pressing employment concerns, our client then called up Greg Hill & Associates in 2022 to inquire about expungement of the conviction for DUI.  The client explained that he was a teacher at a local school district and feared that because of the conviction, as well as for his first conviction for DUI, that he might be asked to resign or even fired.  Other teachers in the school district with a criminal history had apparently had this happen to them and our client was anxious he would experience the same thing.

Greg Hill and the client then discussed the underlying second-time DUI and Greg explained what expungement did and did not do.  Greg explained that expungement did not erase or delete the conviction, but that it changed the last plea from no contest back to not guilty and showed the case dismissed.  It also gave the client the legal right to state, with some exceptions, that he was no convicted of DUI in this case.

Consistent with a duty of full disclosure, Greg also advised the client that there is a little-known exception in the 1203.4 text that permits a judge discretion to deny expungement for one convicted of DUI, as well as several other offenses.  Greg commented that while this was so, he had only experienced a judge denying expungement of a DUI conviction when the conviction involved felony DUI with exacerbating circumstances and other charges in the same case.  He had never seen a judge in Los Angeles County deny expungement in a misdemeanor DUI.

The client then hired Greg Hill & Associates to prepare the petition for dismissal (“expungement”), which was supplemented with a short memorandum of points and authorities and a declaration from our client, now age 50, stating why he was petitioning for expungement of the fourteen year-old conviction.  

The declaration explained how our client was a physical education teacher and had been since August 2014.  He taught movement skills, movement concepts, social skills and health related concepts.  His goal was to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling, but with this conviction on his record, it would be difficult to obtain a school counseling credential.  

Our office then filed the petition at the Downey Superior Court, paying the $120 filing fee required with the petition filing, served the petition on the Downey District Attorney’s Office and then attended the hearing on the petition, which the judge granted.

Our client was extremely happy with this ruling.

For more information about expungement, please click on the following articles:
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