Diversion Granted for Salinas Woman Charged with Battery
Our client was a 20-year-old Salinas woman who was charged with misdemeanor battery (Penal Code Section 242). Her cousin called 911 to report that she punched him in the face. The police responded and both parties gave statements. Our client, who was exasperated from dealing with her drunk and loud cousin, admitted to punching him in the face. Based on the statements made at the time of the incident, there was not a clear self-defense argument. This is one reason why it is very important not to make any statements to the police if they question you about a crime.
Even though her cousin did not sustain any injuries as a result of the punch, the Monterey County District Attorney decided to charge our client with misdemeanor battery.
The initial offer was to plead “guilty” as charged for 30 days in Monterey County Jail. A conviction for battery would also result in a 10-year firearm ban, fines, probation time and a permanent crime of violence on her record. At the time, she was represented by the public defender, who advised her to take the deal. After a free consultation, she hired us to take over the case.
Since our client was a young woman with no prior criminal history, we advised her to reject this offer and to pursue Misdemeanor Diversion pursuant to Penal Code 1001.95. We filed a lengthy motion on her behalf and argued vigorously to a skeptical judge. After hearing our argument, the judge granted our motion for diversion. As part of the diversion, our client was ordered to attend a small number of anger management classes and do a handful of community service hours.
In this case, our client will complete diversion and wind up with a clean record. Not only will she have no criminal conviction on her record, but the arrest record will also be sealed.