caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to move to suppress defendant’s statement for lack of Miranda advice after the questioning became adversarial and custodial. (452) (622)
The interrogation was not “custodial” when it began, but it later became custodial and defendant should have received Miranda warnings when the detectives essentially told defendant that they would not leave and he could not go home until he told them the truth based on the evidence they had against him. Trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to move to suppress defendant’s statement based on the lack of Miranda advice.
People v. Torres ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 6832 (4th Dist. 2018) July 12, 2018 (D072610)
Defendant did not need a certificate of probable cause to challenge an agreed-upon sentence where the plea deal predated the enactment of SB 620. (874)
Defendant entered a guilty plea with an agreed upon sentence at a time when the trial court had no authority to dismiss a firearm use enhancement. After the plea, the Legislature enacted SB 620, which gave the courts discretion to strike the enhancements. Defendant thereafter sought to challenge the agreed-upon sentence on appeal. Defendant was not required to obtain a certificate of probable cause in order to challenge the sentence under these circumstances.
People v. Hurlic ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 6721 (2nd Dist. 2018) July 09, 2018 (B286082)
Board’s finding that defendant was unsuitable for parole was not supported in the record that showed he was irrational and impulsive as a 19 year-old but had since matured in attitude and conduct. (812)
Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder in 1988 and resentenced to 20 years-to-life for crimes he committed as a 19 year-old. The Board of Parole Hearings finding that he was unsuitable for release on parole was not supported by “some evidence” that he posed a danger to the public. The record showed he has disavowed the criminal conduct of his youth and dedicated himself to self improvement and developing skills to help others. He expressed understanding for what he did, and remorse. There was no support for the finding that he lacked insight or remained a danger.
In re Poole ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 6257 (1st Dist. 2018) June 22, 2018 (A1522341)
Stipulation admitting to the elements of the crime was invalid where defendant had not been advised of his constitutional trial rights before counsel entered the stipulation. (516)
Defendant entered into a stipulation through his counsel that admitted all of the elements of the charged crime, making it tantamount to a guilty plea. However, no advisements of constitutional rights were given before the stipulation, and the record failed to show defendant understood his counsel’s stipulation had the effect of waiving his rights to a jury trial and confrontation as well as his privilege against self-incrimination. The stipulation was the only basis for the jury’s misdemeanor verdict, and so his conviction was reversed.
People v. Farwell ____ Cal.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 5981 (2018) June 21, 2018 (S231009)
The reclassification of certain prior felony offenses may trigger the “washout” rule of section 667.5, subd.(b) such that a court cannot impose one year enhancements based on felony convictions that have not been reclassified as misdemeanors. (105)
Defendant pled guilty to a weapons offense and was sentenced to a seven year term that included four one-year enhancements under Penal Code section 667.5, subd.(b). Each enhancement was based on a prior felony conviction and its associated prison term. However, one of the enhancements was imposed erroneously because the prior offense on which it was based had been reclassified as a misdemeanor under Prop 47. Moreover, the other three enhancements were also reversed due to the application of the washout provision of section 667.5, subd.(b), because still other prior felonies were reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47, with the result that there was a period exceeding five years following the unreclassified felonies during which defendant was free of felony convictions.
People v. Warren ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 6283 (5th Dist. 2018) June 21, 2018 (F073159)
A youth offender granted parole under section 3051 cannot be required to serve a consecutive sentence for an in-prison offense committed after age 25. (812)
Defendant was found suitable for parole under the youth offender provision of Penal Code sections 3051 and 4801, subd.(c). Although the decision was final on April 24th, 2017, defendant was not released, but required to serve an additional consecutive eight year term for an offense committed in prison when he was 26 years old. However, the Board of Parole Hearings decision requiring him to serve the consecutive term after he was granted parole was unlawful. He was ordered released on parole, and the days he served beyond his original release date were deducted from his period of parole.
In re Williams ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 5903 (2nd Dist. 2018) June 20, 2018 (b286241)