caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

Defendant’s appeal waiver did not prevent her from seeking retroactive application of SB 180, and the matter was returned to allow the parties to negotiate a new deal. (845) (870)
Defendant pled guilty to a drug offense along with an enhancement for a prior drug offense, agreed to an eight year prison term and waived her right to appeal. Before sentencing, the Legislature passed SB 180, which eliminated enhancements for most drug-related prior convictions. She then moved to invalidate the enhancements imposed in her case. The appeal waiver did not prevent her from seeking retroactive application of SB 180. The plea agreement is now unenforceable and the parties can go back and enter into a new agreement or go to trial.
People v. Barton ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 8220 (5th Dist. 2020) August 04, 2020 (F076599)
CDCR regulations are invalid to the extend they deny Prop 57 early parole consideration to a defendant convicted of indecent exposure. (812)
Indecent exposure under Penal Code section 314 is a nonviolent felony offense as that term is used in California Constitution article 1, section 32 (a)(1). CDC regulations are invalid to the extent they deny Prop 57 early parole consideration to inmates based on a current or prior conviction for indecent exposure.
In re Febbo ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 8181 (4th Dist. 2020) August 03, 2020 (G057667)
SB 1437 does not unconstitutionally amend Props 7, 9, 115 and does not violate the separation of powers doctrine. (147)
The trial court erred in finding SB1437, which amends the felony murder rule and the natural and probable consequences as it relates to murder, unconstitutionally amends Prop 7. Neither does the provision unconstitutionally amend Prop 115 or Prop 9 or violate the separation of powers doctrine.
People v. Nash ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 8187 (5th Dist. 2020) August 03, 2020 (F079509)
The lack of evidence regarding the nature of the rival gang members’ convictions constituted a failure of proof on an element of the crime of gang conspiracy. (144) (225)
Evidence was insufficient to support the defendant’s convictions for gang conspiracy under Penal Code section 182.5. The charge arose out of a shooting where two men shot an NC gang member while he stood near a memorial set up for his father who had been murdered the day before. Brim gang members later pled guilty to that shooting. However, no evidence was presented at this trial showing what crime those gang members pled guilty to or whether that crime was a felony. Without evidence of the nature of the crimes committed by the Brim gang members the jury was left to speculate.
People v. Ware ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 8132 (4th Dist. 2020) July 29, 2020 (D072515)
Defendant unequivocally invoked Miranda by saying wanted “to speak to an attorney” because he would take responsibility for himself. (456)
When asked by the interrogating detective whether he went into the trailer park on the night of the killing, defendant said “I want to, speak to an attorney first, because I, take responsibility for me, but there’s other people that ...” This was a clear invocation of defendant’s right to counsel. Although not required to, he explained why he wanted counsel. This did not create an ambiguity and the detective erred by failing to honor defendant’s unambiguous request for counsel. Because defendant’s subsequent admissions were an important part of the prosecution’s case, his capital murder conviction was reversed.
People v. Henderson ____ Cal.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 7944 (2020) August 30, 2020 (S098318)
The trial court erred by imposing firearm enhancements under section 12022.53(e) that were not pleaded in connection with the relevant counts. (845)
The trial court erred by imposing five 25 years-to-life enhancements in connection with counts as to which the enhancements had not been alleged. Because the defendant did not receive adequate notice that the prosecution was seeking to impose the additional punishment on those counts, the enhancement findings were reversed.
People v. Anderson ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 7711 (1st Dist. 2020) July 23, 2020 (A136451)