caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

An order denying a factual innocence motion is appealable. (605)
Defendant’s 1991 second degree murder conviction was reversed when the superior court granted his habeas corpus petition. The petition alleged various grounds for relief including ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, and factual innocence. The court granted the relief solely on the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant thereafter filed a Penal Code section 1485.55 motion for a finding of factual innocence. The motion was denied. Contrary to the state’s argument, the order denying a factual innocence motion is appealable.
People v. Caldwell ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 10935 (1st Dist. 2018) November 15, 2018 (A148828)
Where Prop 57 and SB 620 took effect after defendant’s plea deal, he could seek relief on appeal despite the lack of a certificate of probable cause. (530) (856) (874)
Defendant committed offenses when he was 17 years old and entered into a plea agreement. After the plea, Prop 57 took effect along with SB 620, and defendant argued on appeal that he was entitled to a remand for a juvenile fitness hearing, and a resentencing where the court could exercise discretion to dismiss the gun enhancement. Defendant was permitted to raise these issues despite his failure to seek a certificate of probable cause in support of his appeal because the changes were implicitly incorporated into the plea agreement. Hence, his contentions did not challenge the validity of his plea.
People v. Baldivia ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 10750 (6th Dist. 2018) November 05, 2018 (H044842)
Stealing cigarettes and money from a wallet qualified as shoplifting for purposes of Prop 47. (105a)
Defendant entered a business where motor homes are sold, where he stole cigarettes and $240 from a wallet he found on the premises. His conduct fit within the definition of shoplifting under Penal Code section 459.5, and so his commercial burglary conviction was properly reduced to a misdemeanor under Prop 47.
People v. Franske ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R 10607 (3rd Dist. 2018) November 01, 2018 (C081591)
Where two prior convictions were reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47 before sentencing, those offenses could not be used as prior prison term enhancements, and neither could earlier priors where the Prop 47 ruling activated the 5 year “washout” provision. (851)
Two prior prison term enhancements under Penal Code section 667.5(b) were imposed erroneously because the convictions on which they were based had been reclassified as misdemeanors under Prop 47 before sentencing. Since they were to be misdemeanors for all purposes the convictions no longer met the elements required for section 667.5(b). Additional enhancements were imposed for other prior felonies that had not been reclassified. Some occurred before the felonies that were reclassified. The enhancements based on the earlier prior prison terms had to be reversed as well. The “washout” provision of section 667.5(b) applied because the reduction of the two felonies to misdemeanors resulted in a period exceeding five years during which he was free of felony convictions.
People v. Kelly ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 10610 (5th Dist. 2018) November 01, 2018 (F071934)
Felony false personation conviction was reversed where defendant should have been charged under the specific law that prohibits signing a false name on a traffic citation. (101)
Defendant was convicted of felony false personation under Penal Code section 529(a)(3) after he gave a friend’s name to a police officer at a traffic stop and signed a citation with that name. However, under the rule provided in In re Williamson (1957) 43 Cal.2d 651, his conduct should have been charged as a misdemeanor under Vehicle Code section 40504 (b), which criminalizes the signing of a false name on a promise to appear for a traffic citation.
People v. Henry ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 10525 (6th Dist. 2018) October 29, 2018 (H044626)
The prosecution is required to admit actual evidence an unreasonable risk of danger to the public under Prop 64. (234)
The trial court abused its discretion by denying defendant’s petition to recall his felony conviction for possessing marijuana for sale and resentence him to a misdemeanor under Prop 64. The prosecution presented no evidence to satisfy its burden of a preponderance of the evidence. and instead relied on bald factual assertions and argument unsupported by evidence.
People v. Saelee ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2018 D.A.R. 10487 (3rd Dist. 2018) October 26, 2018 (C084235)