4/10/2014: SAN MATEO COUNTY (REDWOOD CITY) PETITION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF DUI PROBATION & DUI EXPUNGEMENT
Outcome: PETITION GRANTED, PROBATION TERMINATED EARLY & DUI CONVICTION DISMISSED
Description: Wow. This case epitomizes just how difficult things are with DUI charges in San Mateo County. I was first hired by client in 2010 to fight a DUI charge as client traveled frequently to Canada for work (you can't get into Canada with a DUI conviction, btw). Anyway, the case was a garden variety .11% BAC case which the DA steadfastly refused to reduce to reckless driving so client could have a chance to save his job. As a result, we were pushed into a jury trial, the first of which ended in a mistrial. Ultimately, the law changed allowing workers with a Temporary Resident Permit ("TRP") to enter Canada for work, even though they had a DUI conviction on their record. As a result, client settled his case for a DUI conviction some three years after his original DUI arrest date.
After finishing his court ordered terms of probation, I fulfilled a promise to client to petition the court for early termination of probation so his conviction could be expunged from his record. Client had only completed ONE YEAR of his three year probation term, but considering the age of his arrest, I thought we had a strong petition. I prepared, served and filed the petition which clearly stated many times that client had only completed one year of DUI probation, so I wasn't completely surprised when the judge granted our petition with no objection from the District Attorney.
Days later, I get the call. It's the judge's clerk telling me that the judge and District Attorney were "unaware" that client had only finished one year of probation and the court wanted to put the case back on calendar for "reconsideration." For real??? So the court and District Attorney just admitted that neither of them actually read my petition and now they want me to drive back to Redwood City so they can now have a second chance to deny the petition? I've heard that the wheels of justice move slowly, but this was a scene from the first Superman Movie when the hero flies so fast around the Earth that time goes in reverse. Gratefully, another two days pass and the clerk calls me again. Apparently, the judge has changed his mind and is going to stick with his original ruling granting the petition. For over four years we dealt with this DUI case and now finally resolution! At least for now.....I'm not going to answer any more calls from private numbers for a while!