Our client, while 39, was arrested in the City of Torrance in the Old Towne area for DUI (Vehicle Code § 23152(a)) and driving without a valid license (Vehicle Code § 12500). The client was returning from a bachelor party and had been drinking.
The client was fortunate to resolve the case as a charge of only public intoxication (Penal Code § 647(f). This seemed to be a lucky break, but the next seven years were payback, it seemed, as he could not find a job anywhere due to this conviction.
He had completed nursing school, earning an associate of arts degree in respiratory care. He had sent out over fifty resumes to various hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics, each ending in a rejection.
Consequently, his wife worked two jobs and the couple struggled to eke out a living. Having a child was a financial burden they could not carry, so they delayed having a child until our client could find a job.
Then one day he heard about expungement and called Greg Hill & Associates. Greg listened to the client explain his earlier conviction and the client said he had completed all terms of probation.
As a matter of due diligence, our office always goes to the courthouse and gets the docket report for the case to verify that the client is indeed eligible for probation, at least insofar as completing all terms of probation in the eyes of the court. We like to anticipate problems that may arise and see if the client had any violations of probation enroute to completing probation.
In this particular case, we noticed that the court records did not show payment of the booking fee for the City of Torrance. We consequently asked the client if he had paid the fee, but not filed the receipt with the clerk’s office.
The client responded that he would do so ASAP. He had endured years of phone calls from a debt collector for the City of Torrance and the next time they called, he would pay. He then did so about two weeks later. The client then produced the receipt for payment of this, from the collection company.
Greg Hill & Associates then filed the petition for dismissal, accompanied by a declaration from the client explaining how he did indeed pay the booking fee and how having this conviction had caused devastating consequences to his employment and his family.
The Torrance City Prosecutors Office prepared a written opposition to the petition, arguing that our client had not successfully completed probation because the term of probation was one year and he did not pay the booking fee until nearly seven years after the conviction.
At the hearing on the motion, the Torrance Superior Court judge granted the expungement (withdrawal of the plea and dismissal of the case) in the interest of justice, stating that the purpose of expungement is to give someone a fresh start and that our client’s late payment was not equal to no payment ever. Had he not made such a payment, the court would have denied the petition.
The client was extremely excited about the judge’s ruling and thankful that our office had guided him through this process, completing probation several years late, but completing it nonetheless. He and his wife planned to start a family once he gained employment, which he thought was certain now that the conviction was changed from a conviction to a dismissal on his record.
For more information about expungement issues, please click on the following articles:
- Is Expungement Worth It?
- Trial Court That Denied Expungement Because Petitioner Given a Five Year Joint Suspended Sentence Is Reversed on Appeal
- Expungement Is Available for Attempted Sex Offense under Penal Code § 288 When Defendant Successfully Completes Probation