caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

Defendant was entitled to retroactive application of SB 136 and no remand was required. (851)
SB 136, which eliminates one year prior prison term enhancements in most cases applies retroactively to all case that were not final at the time of its enactment. The prosecution argued the proper remedy was a remand to allow it to accept the lower term or abandon the plea bargain. However, defendant was entitled to the benefit of AB 136 and no remand was necessary.
People v. France ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 13235 (1st Dist. 2020) December 15, 2020 (A158609)
The trial court erred at the resentencing hearing by finding it couldn’t consider defendant’s postjudgment efforts in prison. (802)
Defendant’s case was remanded for resentencing to allow the trial court to exercise its discretion to dismiss a firearm enhancement. The trial court prejudicially erred at the resentencing hearing by finding it lacked discretion to consider defendant’s postjudgment rehabilitative efforts in prison.
People v. Yanaga ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 13277 (2nd Dist. 2020) December 14, 2020 (B302291)
The trial court erred in giving the “kill zone” theory instruction where the defendants fired into a car intending to kill the victim. (148) (178)
Defendants fired five shots into a car killing Raya, the intended target, but not Lott. They were convicted of the attempted murder of Lott under the “kill zone” theory. However, instructing on the kill zone theory was erroneous because the evidence did not support an inference that the defendants intended to kill Raya by killing everyone in the car.
People v. Booker ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 13199 (2nd Dist. 2020) December 10, 2020 (B295128)
SB 136, which eliminates the prior prison term enhancement in most cases, rendered defendant’s plea agreement unenforceable. (851)
Defendant pled no contest and admitted the use of a firearm, and that he previously served a prison term. The plea agreement was unenforceable following the passage of SB 136 eliminating the Penal Code section 667.5 (b) prior term enhancement for most purposes. The parties may enter into a new plea agreement, but if they do, the court may not impose a longer sentence than it did in the original agreement.
People v. Joaquin ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 12950 (1st Dist. 2020) December 04, 2020 (A152786)
Police lacked probable cause to search the car after seeing a baggie containing marijuana in the center console. (340)
An officer testified that he saw a clear plastic baggie containing a leafy substance in the center console of defendant’s car. There was no testimony as to whether it may have contained more than 28.5 grams for purposes of Prop 64. There was also no evidence of an open container. Under the circumstances, the police lacked probable cause to search the car.
People v. Hall ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 12365 (1st Dist. 2020) November 24, 2020 (A157868)
Only one contempt conviction was proper for a lawyer who was continuously rude during a 15 minute settlement conference. (520)
Defendant was a civil litigator who was rude and unprofessional during a 15 minute settlement conference. He was convicted of four counts of civil contempt, and ordered to pay a fine for each count. However, his rude conduct during that period justified only on contempt conviction.
Moore v. Superior Court ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2020 D.A.R. 12235 (4th Dist. 2020) November 16, 2020 (G058609)