Dismissed! Possession of a False ID Card and Unlawful Forgery of a Governmental Agency Driver’s License and Identification Card Charges Dismissed Per Penal Code section 1385, In the Interests of Justice!

Recently at the Alhambra Courthouse in Los Angeles County I was able to negotiate to a Penal Code Section 1385 dismissal in the interests of justice for our client charged with misdemeanor counts of violating Vehicle Code section 13004(a) (“Unlawful Possession of a False ID Card”) and Penal Code section 470(a) (“Unlawful Forgery of a Governmental Agency Driver’s License and Identification Card”).

Our client was originally arrested and charged with these violations in 2001. Our client failed to appear at her arraignment in this matter and a bench warrant was issued. Our client had moved out of state shortly after the case had been filed and never received a notify letter to her mother’s address (address in the police report) informing her that a bench warrant had issued.

Our client only discovered that she had an outstanding bench warrant and an open criminal case when she hired an immigration attorney to assist her in adjusting her status. When she met with the immigration attorney for a consultation, she learned that this criminal matter would negatively impact her ability to obtain legal status in the United States. Our client then hired our office to recall the bench warrant and defend her against the criminal allegations.

We then put the matter on calendar to recall the bench warrant and the client remained on her own recognizance. We were then provided the discovery by the prosecution. After reviewing the discovery, we filed a motion to dismiss for denial of speedy trial. We argued that there was a seventeen-year delay in this matter and that no notify letter was ever sent to our client to inform her of the charges or of her outstanding bench warrant. We argued that this delay has prejudiced our client and the prosecution had no justification. The motion was denied by the court after oral argument. However, given the fact that our client had no other criminal convictions or contacts since this offense, the facts of the underlying case, and given the age of the case the court offered our client pre-plea court diversion.

Court diversion is when the court continues your matter, without objection by the prosecution, for a specified time period and dismisses the charges if, after the time period has elapsed, the person has remained crime free.

After six months had passed, the prosecution obtained our client’s criminal record and confirmed she had remained crime free. The court then proceeded to dismiss the charges pursuant to Penal Code section 1385, in the interests of justice.

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