Torrance, Underage Possession of Alcohol, Vandalism, PC 654
Synopsis: Torrance, 16-year-old client found in possession of alcohol and arrested for felony vandalism (spray painting a sidewalk), case referred to pre-trial diversion and dismissed.
Nevertheless, police took him to the Redondo Beach Police Station, only to release him several hours later with a signed promise by him and by his parents to appear in court on possible charges of violating California Penal Code § 594 (“Felony Vandalism,” as the repair estimates were over $400) and Business and Possessions Code § 25662 (“Minor in Possession of Alcohol”). Our client had never been arrested before.
The client’s parents picked up their son and immediately contacted Greg Hill & Associates. The idea of their son being a felon was quite troubling to the parents, neither of who had a criminal record and were college-educated. Greg recommended that the parents take pictures of their son’s hands to show no paint on his hands, as would commonly otherwise be there if he used spray paint. The parents did so.
Greg then wrote a lengthy letter to the Redondo Beach Police Department about the case and then called the Inglewood Juvenile District Attorney’s Office to speak with the filing officer about the case. Greg suggested pre-filing diversion to resolve the case.
The phone calls seemed to work, as the return phone call Greg received was from the probation department in Torrance (not the filing officer in Inglewood), who advised they wished to meet with the client to see if he qualified for the Welfare and Institutions Code § 654 program. Greg then accompanied the parents and the client to the interview and the client was accepted in the program.
As part of this pre-trial diversion program, the client had to perform a small amount of community service and meet monthly with the probation officer to monitor his grades and behavior at home. Greg went to each meeting at the probation office with the parents and the client.
After six months, with the client’s grades improving and his behavior at home being no problem, the client graduated from the program and avoided even the filing of a criminal complaint against him.
Both the client and the client’s parents were very pleased with the outcome.
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