Receiving stolen property misd reduced to disturbing the peace infraction without fines and fees

The client was charged with receiving stolen property in 1990.  He did not show up to his arraignment because he was scared of the immigration consequences and did not have money to pay the fees.  The court issued a bench warrant for his arrest. 

25 years later, the client was attempting to apply for legal immigration status and discovered that the arrest was impeding him from obtaining legal status.  The client was living in Illinois at the time and obtained my phone number from a friend.  The client called me and hired me to help him address the charges.

I presented myself to San Fernando Valley Courthouse without my client, on my client’s behalf, and added his case to the calendar as a walk-in.  I spoke to the City Attorney assigned to the courtroom and asked her to dismiss the case.  After further discussion, we agreed to add a second count for disturbing the peace as an infraction, for my client to plead to the second count, and she would dismiss count 1. 

I pled my client guilty to the disturbing the peace charge as an infraction.  The judge attempted to give my client a fine and fees, but I reminded the judge that my client had been incarcerated over the weekend back in 1990 when he was arrested and that he should receive credit for time served.  The judge agreed to apply his jail time towards the fine and my client did not have to pay the fines and fees.

Ultimately, my client's arrest warrant was cleared up right away which allowed him to proceed with obtaining his legal status.  This was most important to him.  It was also good news to hear that he did not have to fly to Los Angeles, that the matter was closed, and that he did not have to pay any fines and fees.