Health and Safety Code section 11350(a), “Possession of a Controlled Substance” Felony 1987 Offense - Bench Warrant Recalled and Case Dismissed Pursuant to Penal Code section 1385

In 1987, our client was charged with a felony violation of Health and Safety Code section 11350(a), “Possession of a Controlled Substance” offense. Our client appeared at his initial arraignment but failed to appear at a later court appearance and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Our client recently hired our office to represent him on several of his criminal matters and, after reviewing his Department of Justice California Criminal History,” we discovered the outstanding warrant for this case. We then set the matter for a bench warrant recall hearing.

Our client now resides in Florida and would be extremely inconvenienced if required to be present in court for this bench warrant recall. Our office was able to appear on his behalf, request the matter be reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.18, “Proposition 47," which now statutorily enumerates this offense as a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony, and we were able to recall the bench warrant. For misdemeanor matters, Penal Code section 977(a) provides an attorney authority to appear on a defendant’s behalf without the personal appearance of the defendant in court.

At the bench warrant hearing, after providing the court with our client’s lack of criminal history since 1990 and the fact that the case was over thirty-three (33) years old, the case was completely dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1385, “In the Interests of Justice.”

Given that the case was completely dismissed without a conviction, our client is now eligible to seal his record of arrest pursuant to Penal Code section 851.91, which would allow him to effectively state that this arrest and case did not occur!


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Escovar Law, APC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. The information on this website is a communication and is for informational purposes only. The facts of every case are unique and nothing on this page or on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and viewing of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. The result portrayed in this advertisement was dependent on the facts of this case. Results will differ if based on different facts.