Whittier, Wet Reckless, Probation Ended Early & Expungement

Our client, then age 21, entered into a plea bargain for a violation of Vehicle Code § 23103(a), also known as a “wet reckless” after originally being charged with DUI.  The plea bargain followed an arrest by the CHP and his retaining a “DUI Expert,” who was unable to reduce the DUI to a “wet” as she assured him she easily could when he retained her.  After many appearances in court with no success, our client fired the “DUI Expert.”
In 50 Words or Less, What Happened?:  Early Termination of Probation and Expungement of Wet Reckless Conviction in Whittier for U.S. Army Serviceman Stationed in Afghanistan.
The client then retained Greg Hill & Associates, who spotted the important issues and persuaded the Whittier District Attorney in one appearance to amend the complaint to allege reckless driving and dismiss the DUI charges of violating Vehicle Code §§ 23152(a) and 23152(b).

Our client then finished his alcohol awareness program and, as an Army reservist, received orders to deploy overseas as part of the U.S. Army’s contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  The client also paid his court fees and fines and attended the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel (VIP) before deploying.

Greg Hill then contacted the client via e-mail and asked him if he was interested in asking the court to terminate his probation early, at the half-way mark.  If the judge assigned to the case, now transferred Downey because the Whittier courthouse closed, were to grant the motion to terminate probation early, the client would then be eligible for expungement of the conviction. 

The client responded that he was eager to end probation and have the conviction changed to “not guilty” on his record.   He thought that being on probation might be slowing down his promotions within the Army.

Greg Hill & Associates then prepared the motion for modification of probation (so as to end it) under Penal Code § 1203.3 and filed it with the court.   The judge may exercise his or her discretion in ruling upon such a motion, so it is important to provide information that makes the judge agree that such relief is the right thing to do.  We therefore often include a declaration from the client that describes the unexpected adverse effects being on probation has caused and how it has affected our client’s career and reputation in the long term.  We included such a declaration in this motion.

The judge in Downey granted the motion. 

Greg Hill & Associates then filed a petition for dismissal under Penal Code § 1203.4, also known as a motion for expungement.  This meant that the court would withdraw the client’s earlier plea of “no contest” and enter a new plea of “not guilty.”  The court would then dismiss the case.  In California, this is commonly known as expungement.  The court granted this motion for our client.

The client was happy with this because he planned on leaving the Army once he returned to the United States and needed a job.  With this conviction expunged (and since he had no other convictions), he will now be able to legally answer “no” to any employment application question that asks him if he has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (certain exceptions exist).  This chapter in our client’s life thus ended.

For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. Is Expungement Worth It?
  2. What Does the New Law in 2015 Concerning Expunged Convictions Mean for State License Applications?
Watch our video about expungement by clicking here.

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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
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