caclr_header_template1 California Criminal Law Reporter

Recent Defense Victories

The appellate division erred in refusing to appoint counsel where defendant had an appointed lawyer at trial and was subject to incarceration. (618)
Defendant was convicted of a misdemeanor (making harassing phone calls) and granted probation that included one day in jail. The appellate division of the superior court erred in denying her request for appointment of appellate counsel because she was subject to incarceration and had been represented by the public defender’s office at trial.
Wolf v. Superior Court ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 7678 (4th Dist. 2019) August 13, 2019 (E071318)
The gun use enhancement was stricken as to the section 25800 count where defendant’s possession of the weapon with the intent to commit a felony did not establish use in the commission of a felony. (856)
Defendant was convicted of carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony under Penal Code section 25800(a). The section 12022.5 firearm use enhancement attached to that count was improper because defendant’s act of carrying the gun intending to commit a felony did not mean he used it in the commission of a felony. The enhancement finding was stricken.
People v. Stout ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 7601 (3rd Dist. 2019) August 12, 2019 (C085360)
The “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement does not apply absent an exigent circumstance. (388)
Defendant was suicidal when the officers arrived at his house, but he subsequently came outside and was restrained. There was no exigent circumstance justifying a warrantless entry of the home at this time, but the entry was later found to be proper under the “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement. Contrary to the earlier holding in People v. Ray (1999) 21 Cal.4th 464, the community caretaking exception cannot be applied absent an exigent circumstance. The firearm related convictions were reversed and the suppression motion was granted.
People v. Ovieda ____ Cal.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 7557 (2019) August 12, 2019 (S247235)
Defendant was entitled to have his 1995 burglary redesignated as a misdemeanor under Prop 47 even though the incident included a robbery that was dismissed as part of the plea bargain. (105a)
In 1995, defendant was charged with robbery and burglary for entering a convenience store and stealing beer. He pled guilty to the burglary and the robbery charge was dismissed. He later filed a Prop 47 petition seeking to have the burglary reduced to misdemeanor shoplifting. The trial court erred in denying the petition based on the robbery that had been dismissed.
People v. Hernandez ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 7229 (4th Dist. 2019) August 01, 2019 (E069359)
The trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury to determine whether there was more than one conspiracy. (144)
Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and to dissuade a witness. The trial court erred by failing to sua sponte instruct the jury to determine whether there existed one or two conspiracies given the evidence that there may have been a single conspiracy. The conviction for conspiracy to dissuade a witness was reversed.
People v. Kopp ____ Cal.App.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 7137 (4th Dist. 2019) July 31, 2019 (D072464)
The trial court erred in denying a capital defendant posttrial access to exhibits for lack of good cause under section 1054.9. (558)
Defendant asked the superior court to release ballistics evidence for expert testing in preparation of filing a habeas corpus petition following a death sentence in his capital case. The trial court denied the request under Penal Code section 1054.9, which governs discovery in these habeas proceedings. Specifically, the court found defendant failed to show good cause to support his request. However, court exhibits are public documents and defendant had the right to inspect them. The court erred in denying defendant access to the exhibits for lack of good cause under section 1054.9.
Satele v. Superior Court ____ Cal.5th ____, ____ Cal.Rptr.3d ____, 2019 D.A.R. 6669 (2019) July 18, 2019 (S248492)