Our client, age 58, was charged with one count of Penal Code section 273.5(a), corporal injury on a co-habitant, a misdemeanor, one count of violating Penal Code section 243(e)(1), battery upon one with whom the suspect had a dating relationship, a misdemeanor, and one count of Penal Code section 242, simple battery, a misdemeanor. In addition, he was on probation for a prior 273.5 charge, so he faced a probation violation charge.
Without All the Details, What Happened: Torrance, severe facial injuries to victim, case settled for delayed entry of judgment and dismissal.
The three misdemeanor charges arose from, according to the victim, age 55, her taking too many sleeping pills with alcohol and then suddenly passing out. When she passed out, she fell directly on the side of her face, causing a very serious black and blue bruise to the area around her eye. To the police who found her unconscious on her couch, the injury looked like she had been punched in the eye. The pictures of her were quite graphic, suggesting even a baseball bat could not have produced such an injury.
The case was factually complicated because when the police were summoned to the apartment, our client was already at the Torrance Police Department. He had walked there to ask them to check on his girlfriend, with whom he had argued and then left after a verbal fight. As he left, she vowed to “end it all.” He therefore went to the police because he was concerned she would overdose on sleeping pills, as she had done previously.
As our client had a prior criminal history for domestic violence, he became the prime suspect right from the start of the investigation. Police interviewed our client in the hospital, where she remained for several days. In every interview, she insisted that our client had never hit her and that she caused her injuries by falling down. She stated that she remembered taking almost an entire bottle of sleeping pills and falling down, after which time the last thing she remembered thinking was “wow, that really hurt” and crawling into bed.
The police did not believe her. It seemed the more she insisted that our client was not involved, the more skeptical the police became. The District Attorney, apparently taking her cue from the police, decided to press charges in the Torrance Superior Court.
Our office, upon interviewing the alleged victim, discovered that the victim had undergone gastric bypass surgery, which accelerated the effects of taking sleeping pills. Our office presented scientific evidence of this to the District Attorney, which made the victim’s story more credible.
Our efforts were successful, as after many weeks of negotiations, Greg Hill was able to get the District Attorney to dismiss the domestic violence charge, the battery on a co-habitant and the probation violation case pursuant to a plea bargain wherein the third charge, simple battery would be dismissed as well if our client attended 13 anger management classes, paid a $300 fine and a $225 booking fee.
The client, however, had to first plead no contest to the simple battery charge. Upon his successful completion of the 13 anger management classes, the plea would be withdrawn and the simple battery charge dismissed. Our client, although not guilty, was happy to avoid trial and the risks of being convicted for a crime he did not commit. The photographs of the injuries, after all, were quite horrific.
Had our client fought his case at trial and been found guilty of all charges, he faced a maximum of four years in prison.
For more information about the issues in this case, click on the following articles:
- What Is Diversion, Delayed Entry of Plea and Deferred Entry of Judgment?
- What Punishment Do I Face for Domestic Violence?
- Is a Three-Year Great Bodily Injury Sentence Enhancement Proper for a Dislocated Finger Sustained by Victim during a Robbery and Kidnapping?
Watch our Video about Domestic Violence by clicking here