Mr. Griffin was retained by a young man serving active duty in the United States Navy. The client and his wife originally moved to San Diego three and a half years ago when the client received military orders in San Diego.
Mr. Griffin’s client struggled with alcohol use. On the night in question, the client was intoxicated and trying to make his way back home. He lived in an apartment complex where the buildings are nearly identical. The client tried to enter what he thought was his own apartment, but in reality, it was the next building over. The client attempted to get in with his key, and when he couldn’t enter, he began banging loudly on the front door. A mother and child were asleep inside. The client broke down the door and forced his way into the apartment and found the mother and child inside. Soon after, the client began swinging a broom at the mother and child, believing they were intruders. Needless to say, the mother and her child were terrified.
The client was charged with:
- One count residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling Penal Code § 459; Penal Code § 460(a) (Felony);
- Two counts assault with a deadly weapon Penal Code § 245(a)(1) (Felony)(Strike); and
- One count cruelty to a child by inflicting injury Penal Code § 273a(b)
The client faced six years in prison, two strikes, and immediate dishonorable discharge from the Navy. Mr. Griffin’s investigation showed that the apartment complex had multiple streets that looked extremely similar, if not completely identical. Even a sober person could have confused the two streets. Detectives also noted they had a difficult time knowing where to report at the time of the incident.
The most pivotal aspect of the case was whether the client would be able to remain in the Navy. The client was a standout sailor, and Mr. Griffin was able to build a substantial mitigation package that explained to the District Attorney and the Judge that the client was a man of high character who simply made a mistake. Mr. Griffin was also able to get a very favorable statement from the victim in the case.
Mr. Griffin’s client received probation with no time in custody and was allowed to continue serving in the Navy. The terms of the client’s plea deal will enable him to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor (Penal Code § 17(b) and expunge (Penal Code § 1203.4) the case so there will be no record of the conviction ever taking place.