Licensed Professional Charged With Penal Code Section 459.5 - Shoplifting - Case Dismissed - Pre-Plea Diversion

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!