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Torrance, Expungement of 415(2) Infraction from 2014

In 2001, our client was observed by a Torrance Police officer driving her car on private property in a commercial area near Torrance Memorial Hospital.  Such driving on private property is a violation of Torrance Municipal Code § 61.3.11 as a form of trespassing.  It is misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of $500, plus penalties and assessments if the judge wanted to punish someone in the maximum amount.

At the time our client received the ticket, she was lost and it was about 8:00 p.m.  She was trying to read building numbers to find an address.  She needed to find an address to drop off an envelope with payment of a bill.  Police believed she looked suspicious being in the area when all such businesses had closed hours earlier.  At the time, our client was 36 years old and had no prior criminal history.

Like many, she received the ticket at the scene and signed a promise to appear in court on a future date.  She somehow believed that the police would mail her a letter confirming the date and time of her appearance, but this letter never was sent and never received.

Our client therefore concluded that the police and the local Torrance City Prosecutors had decided to not file charges because otherwise she would have received such a letter. 

Thirteen years later, however, she was pulled over for a traffic violation and the officer ran our client’s name, finding that our client had a pending bench warrant from Torrance since 2001 for this misdemeanor offense.

The client then hired a local attorney to go to court for her in 2014, have the bench warrant recalled and then resolve the case.  That attorney was successful in not only having the bench warrant recalled, but the Torrance City Prosecutor reduced the misdemeanor to an infraction-level violation for Penal Code § 415(2), disturbing the peace.

The astute reader of this website may question why that attorney, who was not Greg Hill, did not seek to have the case dismissed on grounds that the Client’s Sixth Amendment rights had been violated by the delay in prosecution.  Such a motion, which seems like it would have been successful due to the passage of well more than one year, would have been brought under Serna v. Superior Court (1985) 40 Cal. 3d 239, 219 Cal. Rptr. 420, 707 P.2d 793 and is known as a “Serna motion.” 

Nonetheless, the bench warrant was resolved and the case was resolved.

However, the conviction remained a stain on our client’s otherwise conviction-free record.  So, in 2021, she contacted Greg Hill & Associates to ask what could be done about it, if anything.  Greg explained that sealing and destroying (which would delete or erase it from her criminal history) it was not possible because she had actually been convicted of the crime.

The client was president of an online learning company and a frequent speaker on human resources, so she earnestly wanted to minimize the conviction in any way possible, as she believed it could affect not only her business, but her reputation in the Glendora community where she now lived and was an active volunteer participant in her daughter’s school.

Greg explained that the only thing possible really was to have the conviction expunged, which would mean the conviction would be returned to a last plea of not guilty and the case would be shown as dismissed.  The benefits of expunging such a conviction, even an infraction, were mainly for employment, Greg explained, as after expungement, one could legally state that he or she was not convicted of the crime (although the person really was, truthfully).

The client agreed to retain Greg Hill & Associates, so our office then prepared the petition for dismissal under Penal Code § 1203.4a(a), including a short memorandum of points and authorities and declaration form our client explaining why she wanted the conviction expunged.
Under 1203.4a(a), because an infraction does not involve probation, one must establish for the judge that since the conviction, one has “led an honest and upright life” (similar to meeting the terms and conditions of probation for a misdemeanor of felony).  The client’s declaration, therefore, addressed this requirement.

The petition was filed, served and granted by the Torrance Superior Court judge assigned to the matter, which made our client very happy.

For more information about expungement, 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