Our client, age 27, worked in the entertainment industry for a household name celebrity. In her role as an audio supervisor, she was increasingly asked to travel overseas and each time, had to bow out.
In a Nutshell: If one travels overseas while on any form of probation, even informal probation, customs agents in another county will often hold someone until the probation officer or the court is called to verify that overseas travel is permitted and that the person is in compliance with the terms of probation. For our client in this summary, her job required frequent travel overseas, so she asked the judge to terminate her probation early, which the judge granted.
The reason she could not travel overseas was because 18 months earlier, she was been arrested for DUI and convicted of DUI. Greg Hill & Associates had represented her in her DUI. When customs ran her name and date of birth, her status as being on probation would become known and she would be held while customs called back to the Torrance Superior Court to verify that she was not in violation of probation and no judge wanted her sent back in custody.
The facts of the case were remarkable insofar as DUI’s go. Our client had been at a beach party in Manhattan Beach, drinking margaritas and Coronas over several hours. After the party ended, she had then laid on the beach with one young man she met at the party, kissing him quite a bit.
At about 8 p.m., she then left the beach, happy to maybe have a boyfriend. She drove toward home, eastbound on Rosecrans. She was going 70 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. A police officer noticed her and gave chase, literally chasing her right into a sobriety checkpoint, where she was stopped and arrested.
During the breath test, she told the police officers that her breath alcohol content would be high because she had just finished kissing a young man who was quite drunk. She tried to explain to the dubious police officers that her breath alcohol content was actually that of her boyfriend due to the kissing.
The police officers laughed hysterically and asked her what she did for a living. She replied that she worked for a well-known celebrity. According to our client, the officers then began to audition for the TV show by flexing their muscles and one even took off his shirt to display his physique to our client.
The client was quite surprised when her breath BAC was measured at 0.10% and she was then arrested.
Greg Hill was able to negotiate the DUI case to a wet reckless (Vehicle Code § 23103 pursuant to § 23103.5), largely on the fear of the prosecutor that a juror would actually believe the novel theory of our client that her breath was her boyfriend’s, due to their heavy kissing. The prosecutor remarked that such a theory was novel and actually had to be rewarded for its creativity, despite our client being at double the speed limit and literally being chased right into a sobriety checkpoint. However, the prosecutor grudgingly also wanted to reward our client for starting early on her alcohol awareness class (AB541) and agreed to a wet reckless to resolve the case.
When Greg Hill & Associates contracted our client at the half-way mark in her probation to ask her if she was interested in early termination of probation (and then expungement), our client was quick to say yes due to her employment issues.
Greg explained that such motions for early termination were often granted in shoplifting cases, but rarely granted in DUI and domestic violence cases. However, the client agreed to give the motion a try.
The Torrance Superior Court judge handling the case remarked that he normally would not grant such a request for early termination of probation, even remarking that the underlying plea bargain seemed especially lucky for the facts. However, since our client had completed the AB541 alcohol awareness program even before she entered her plea, he felt comfortable granting the motion.
Our client was happy with the ruling, grateful Greg Hill & Associates had taken the chance in filing the motion, but equally happy that she had earlier followed the advice to start the alcohol awareness program early. Doing so, as she did, helped her avoid a DUI and then allowed her to cut her probation in half.
Greg Hill & Associates then filed a petition for dismissal (expungement) of the conviction, which the court also granted.
For more information about modification of probation and expungement, please click on the following articles:
- Early Termination of Probation – What Does a Judge Consider?
- Is Expungement Worth It?
- Trial Court That Denied Expungement Because Petitioner Given a Five Year Joint Suspended Sentence Is Reversed on Appeal