I recently represented a client who was a licensed professional. This person
was caught shoplifting at a major retail store. The person was given a
citation to appear in court. After consulting with me regarding the consequnces
of a theft conviction on their professional license, the client hired
me with lofty goals.
We needed to avoid a conviction and avoid a "Book and Release Order"
so that no entry of "Arrest" would be made in the California
Criminal History. This was a particularly difficult challenge at the Pasadena
Superior Courthouse since the prosecutors customarily request a "Book
and Release" or "One Day of Jail" as part of a plea agreement.
A potential solution would be Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ). This is
where a client pleads guilty, sentencing is delayed and upon successful
completion of probationary type terms, the case is dismissed per Penal
Code section 1000 et. seq. This was not acceptable since the guilty plea
would cause problems with the professional licensing Board.
After collecting mitigating evidence including medical and psychiatric
records, letters of recommendation and proof of community service, I was
able to negotiate Pre-Plea Diversion. That is where there is no "guilty
plea" and the case is completely dismissed per Penal Code section
1385. Pre-Plea Diversion also does
not entail a "Book and Release".
This result was a complete "Home Run". No Conviction, no guilty
plea, no ""Book and Release", and a complete dismissal
in the interests of justice!