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Criminal Defense Attorneys

Van Nuys, Resisting Arrest, Resolved as Public Intoxication

In late June 2022, our client, age 37, was enjoying a few beers at his apartment in Calabasas.  He got up to take out the trash to a large dumpster out by the parking lot area of the apartment complex.

On his way returning from the large dumpster, our client, who is Caucasian, was approached by a large African American man, who asked for money.  Our client told him he did not have any and apologized.  Our client then kept walking back to his apartment and locked his door.  He felt like something was going to happen.

About three minutes after returning to his apartment, he heard loud kicking to his front door.  The client anticipated that the door’s lock would break and the door would break open.  He grabbed a hatchet he had and called 911, bracing for the intruder.

Suddenly, his door flew open and our client could see the same African American man standing there.  Our client, energized with adrenalin, told the man to leave and showed him the hatchet he was holding.

The African American man backed off and our client continued talking with 911, asking the police to come to his address.

Our client felt trapped in his apartment while the police were responding, so he grabbed his wallet and left with his hatchet for protection.  He understood that the African American man would probably ransack his apartment, but he regarded that as better than being killed.

Our client ran out to the nearest street, Las Virgenes, and anxiously waited for the police to arrive.  It took far too long for our client.  He expected them to respond far more quickly, with a sense of urgency. 

So, when they arrived, he yelled at the police and explained they needed to arrest the African American man, who the police located, but who denied knowing anything about the incident.

Perhaps because our client yelled at the police for taking so long to arrive, police did not arrest the African American man and instead arrested our client for obstructing or delaying his own arrest (even though he called the police). 

Police then instructed our client to sit inside the backseat of the police car and our client refused.  Police had to unholster a stun gun to tell our client he would be shot with the stun gun unless he complied.  He then sat in the back seat of the police car and was taken to the Van Nuys police station, booked and held until he sobered up, which was a few hours.  When the client was released, he was told he was held on suspicion of violating Penal Code § 17500, possession of a deadly weapon with intent to commit an assault, and Penal Code § 148(a)(2), obstructing, delaying or resisting arrest.

The arraignment then took place and the client’s father, an attorney, represented his son at the arraignment.  The prosecutor told the client’s father that the offer to resolve the case would include 90 days of county jail and 30 days of community labor, as well as 52 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.

The client and his father were shocked and immediately called Greg Hill & Associates after getting home.  They then explained the incident.

Greg explained how such charges would most likely be resolved based on his experience with similar facts in other cases.  Greg told the father and the client that he thought judicial diversion was possible, as neither charge was excluded from the judicial diversion statute, and both charges were misdemeanors.

The client hired Greg Hill & Associates and Greg thereafter appeared in the Van Nuys Superior Court for the first pretrial hearing.  The case was assigned to a judge Greg had significant experience with, as well as a prosecutor Greg knew quite well.

The prosecutor was happy to see Greg and the two discussed their kids and their progress.  After this, the prosecutor asked Greg what case he was there for and Greg answered.

The prosecutor was quite familiar with the case and said, “you know, how about a plea to just public intoxication and one year of informal probation.  Your client will have to attend 52 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.  That’s it.”

Greg was very happy with this offer and said he would relay it to the client.

The client was extremely happy with this offer and immediately said he’d accept it.

We present this summary to show how the criminal law community is small enough, even within a large county such as Los Angeles County, that personal relationships can affect resolution of certain cases.  This case exemplifies the importance of having an experienced attorney who may have good relationships with prosecutors.

For more information about resisting arrest and public intoxication, please click on the following articles:
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