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Name: People v. Jackson (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 730
Case #: B328954
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/15/2024

Police officers detained defendant without justification when they boxed in his vehicle, approached him from both sides, and aimed two flashlights on him. Jackson pled guilty to a felon-in-possession charge after his motion to suppress was denied. At the suppression hearing, two officers testified that they pulled their vehicle alongside Jackson’s and then shined flashlights on Jackson as they approached the vehicle from both sides. The officers explained that they suspected criminal activity was afoot because Jackson was in an expensive vehicle, was wearing a coat on a warm evening, was sitting awkwardly in the driver’s seat, and was uncomfortable…

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Name: Gomez v. Superior Court (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 778
Case #: G062526
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/15/2024

Petitioner’s Penal Code section 1172.6 proceeding was a continuation of his plea hearing and thus his peremptory challenge of the prior judge was untimely. Gomez pled to one count of attempted murder and two enhancements and was sentenced to 11 years. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition and sought to disqualify the judge (the same judge who originally sentenced him) by way of a Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 motion, which was denied. Gomez filed a petition for writ of mandate. Held: Petition denied. Whether a petitioner may file a section 170.6 peremptory challenge turns on whether the…

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Name: People v. Carrillo (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 793
Case #: F084751
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/15/2024

A motion to vacate a conviction or sentence under Penal Code section 1473.7 may be based on the defendant’s failure to meaningfully understand or defend against the adverse immigration consequences of a probation violation. In 2002, after a trial, Carrillo was convicted of assault with a firearm and sentenced to probation and 301 days in jail. In 2007, Carrillo admitted a violation of probation, and was sentenced to 90 days consecutive. Because defendant’s total sentence (391 days) now exceeded one year due to the probation violation and was now an “aggravated felony” (a crime of violence for which the term…

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Name: People v. Santos (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 666
Case #: C096979
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/14/2024

A defendant whose sentence is recalled pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.75 to strike a prison prior enhancement is not entitled to application of the Three Strikes Reform Act (Proposition 36) at resentencing. Originally sentenced in 2007, defendant received a term of 25 years to life for drug offenses under the original Three Strikes law, prior prison term enhancements (Pen. Code, § 667.5(b)), and prior drug conviction enhancements (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.2(b)). At a 2022 section 1172.75 resentencing hearing to dismiss now invalid terms, the trial court struck the prison prior and drug conviction enhancements but left intact…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Woodward) (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 679
Case #: H051311
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/14/2024

Prohibition against double jeopardy does not bar the refiling of a murder charge where the trial court’s dismissal order was not clearly based on legal insufficiency of the evidence. In 1992, Woodward was charged with murder. The case went to trial and twice resulted in deadlocked juries. After the second mistrial, the trial court dismissed the case under Penal Code former section 1385, “in the furtherance of justice for insufficiency of the evidence.” In 2022, the murder charge was refiled based on new DNA evidence. On Woodward’s motion, the trial court dismissed the case on double jeopardy grounds. The prosecution sought…

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Name: People v. Felix (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 439
Case #: B317938
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/07/2024
Subsequent History: Opn. modified 3/12/2024

Defendant, who was a foreign national driving a car that belonged to a third party, was lawfully detained while an officer made further inquiries of the dispatcher performing the records check for defendant and the owner of the vehicle. Following a valid traffic stop in Utah, Felix provided an officer with an identification card from Mexico and vehicle registration in the name of a third party from California. He was detained approximately 12 minutes while the officer performed a records check and asked dispatch for additional information. The officer then obtained consent to search the vehicle just prior to dispatch…

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Name: People v. Lewis (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 349
Case #: G060049
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/07/2024

Substantial evidence supports defendant’s conviction for kidnapping an intoxicated woman to commit rape under the relaxed force standard applicable to incapacitated adults. Opinion on remand from the California Supreme Court. A jury convicted Lewis of rape by an intoxicating substance and kidnapping to commit rape based on evidence that he drugged a woman (S.D.) at a bar and then sexually assaulted her after they left the bar. In People v. Lewis (2023) 14 Cal.5th 876, 884, the Supreme Court concluded the relaxed force standard for kidnapping applicable to children (i.e., the use of deception rather than actual force) applies to…

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Name: In re J.S. (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 246
Case #: C099115
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/05/2024

Juvenile was not foreclosed from the record sealing provision of Welfare and Institutions Code section 786 because his subsequent finding of wardship was not based on a felony offense or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. J.S. was adjudged a ward of the juvenile court and placed on formal probation. About ten months later, J.S. was again adjudged a ward of the juvenile court based on a finding that he committed a misdemeanor battery. Following the successful completion of probation, the juvenile court ordered that all records pertaining to the second juvenile wardship petition be sealed pursuant to section 786, but…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Farley) (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 315
Case #: A168018
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/05/2024

The People satisfied their burden at the preliminary hearing to present evidence that Page Street is sufficiently “organized” to qualify as criminal street gang. The People alleged that defendant shot and killed four men in a drive-by shooting committed for the benefit of “Page Street,” which the People alleged is a “criminal street gang” under Penal Code section 186.22(f). In response to defendant’s 995 motion, the superior court ruled that the People had not satisfied their burden at the preliminary hearing to present evidence that Page Street is sufficiently “organized” to qualify as criminal street gang. Accordingly, the court dismissed a…

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Name: People v. Hardin (2024) 15 Cal.5th 834
Case #: S277487
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 03/04/2024

Penal Code section 3051, which permits youth offender parole hearings, does not violate equal protection on its face, or as applied in this case, by its exclusion from eligibility of young adult offenders sentenced to LWOP. In 1989, at age 25, Hardin robbed and killed an elderly neighbor. He was convicted of a special circumstance murder and was sentenced to LWOP. Decades later, he filed a motion to develop evidence for a youth offender parole hearing. Hardin acknowledged that as an adult offender sentenced to LWOP, he was not eligible under section 3051, but argued his exclusion violated the federal…

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Name: People v. Robinson (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 133
Case #: A165379
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/01/2024

A certificate of probable cause is required for claims of error concerning pretrial mental health diversion (Pen. Code, § 1001.36) following a guilty plea, including ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant pleaded no contest to two felonies. He appealed but did not obtain a certificate of probable cause (CPC). On appeal, he argued trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request pretrial mental health diversion, that the trial court violated its sua sponte duty to consider defendant’s eligibility for diversion, and that the claims were cognizable on appeal without a CPC because they were based on the “sentence or other matters occurring…

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Name: In re Miguel R. (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 152
Case #: E082250
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/01/2024

Assembly Bill No. 2361’s recent amendments to Welfare and Institutions Code section 707 do not require that any one factor be given greater weight than others in determining whether the minor is amenable to rehabilitation. In 2019, a juvenile wardship petition alleged that M.R. committed murder and other offenses when he was 17 years old. In 2023, following a remand from the Court of Appeal, the juvenile court considered recent amendments to section 707 and again transferred M.R. to criminal court, finding four of five section 707 factors weighed in favor of the transfer, but that there was insufficient evidence to…

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Name: Lunsted v. Superior Court (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 138
Case #: E081770
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/01/2024

Trial court abused its discretion by failing to apply the Facebook factors when ruling on defendant’s motion to quash the People’s subpoena duces tecum seeking his c-file. In preparation for an upcoming Penal Code section 1172.75 resentencing hearing, the prosecution issued a subpoena duces tecum to CDCR seeking Lunsted’s “c-file” in its entirety. Lunsted moved to quash, arguing the subpoena was overbroad and sought privileged and immaterial medical and mental health records. The trial court concluded that the c-file was likely to contain information “germane to the resentencing procedures” and denied the motion. In his writ petition in the Court…

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Name: People v. Hollywood (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 66
Case #: B323018
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/28/2024

Trial court properly denied Penal Code section 1172.6 petition at the prima facie stage because the record showed petitioner aided and abetted a kidnapping with intent to kill. Hollywood was convicted of first degree murder and kidnapping, and the jury found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a kidnapping and with intent to kill. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition for resentencing, which was denied at the prima facie stage. On appeal, Hollywood argued that the record of conviction did not establish the actus reus requirement in section 189(e)(2)—that he aided and…

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Name: Persiani v. Superior Court (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 48
Case #: G062648
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/28/2024

Trial court has authority under Penal Code section 1370.01(b)(1)(A) to order treatment through mental health diversion for a mentally incompetent misdemeanor defendant charged with driving under the influence. Defendant was charged in four misdemeanor cases with DUI (Veh. Code, § 23152(a)). While the charges were pending, the trial court found defendant incompetent to stand trial. Although defendant was found suitable for outpatient treatment through mental health diversion (Pen. Code, § 1370.01), the court concluded defendant was ineligible for such treatment because Vehicle Code section 23640 prohibits diversion in cases where a defendant is charged with DUI. Defendant petitioned for writ…

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Name: People v. Pittman (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1252
Case #: A166669
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

The trial court may rely on a victim estimate included in a police or restitution report when determining the amount of restitution to be awarded. Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree burglary. At the restitution hearing, the court ordered defendant to pay a total of $6,700 in restitution, consisting of $150 for a safe and $6,550 for various items of jewelry. The values of the items were based on what the victims had provided in the police report. This amount differed from what they later claimed on their restitution report. Defendant appealed. Held: Affirmed. The value of…

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Name: Conservatorship of T.B. (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1361
Case #: A167919
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

The time limit for starting conservatorship trials under amended Welfare and Institutions Code section 5350, is directory, not mandatory, and dismissal for the failure to comply with the time limit is therefore discretionary. The Public Guardian’s Office filed a petition under the LPS Act for appointment of a conservatorship for T.B. (§ 5350.) T.B. requested a trial to determine whether she was gravely disabled. Trial was originally set within the 10 days required by section 5350. T.B.’s court trial actually began 171 days later on April 24, 2023. The trial court found T.B. was gravely disabled and appointed a conservatorship…

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Name: People v. Robinson (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1345
Case #: G063090
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

A trial court does not abuse its discretion when it permits the prosecution to introduce evidence of a prior domestic violence conviction under Evidence Code section 1109 through a certified record of conviction, rather than through live testimony by the alleged victim. Defendant was charged with committing domestic violence and other related crimes against his girlfriend on or about three separate dates. During trial, the prosecution introduced evidence of a 2017 domestic violence conviction (involving a different victim) in order to show defendant had a propensity to commit such crimes. (See Evid. Code, § 1109.) In admitting the certified record of…

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Name: People v. Lopez (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1242
Case #: F086179
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/27/2024

Senate Bill No. 1437 did not abrogate the doctrine of transferred intent and it may still be used to establish an accomplice’s liability for murder. In 1995, Lopez assisted his codefendant in ambushing and shooting at a rival who was in a van, and an unintended victim was killed. Lopez was convicted of first degree murder for the death of the unintended victim. In 2021, Lopez filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.6. After a (d)(3) hearing, the trial court denied the petition, finding Lopez aided and abetted the shooting and impliedly finding an intent to…

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Name: People v. Gaillard (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1206
Case #: D082071
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/26/2024

Defendant’s guilty plea for aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter did not conclusively establish his ineligibility for relief under Penal Code section 1172.6 at the prima facie stage. Defendant appealed from the denial (at the prima facie stage) of his section 1172.6 petition for resentencing on a 2014 voluntary manslaughter conviction. He had admitted that he aided and abetted the voluntary manslaughter. The record of conviction did not include any of the underlying facts because defendant pleaded guilty before the preliminary hearing. Held: Reversed. First, the trial court erred to the extent it ruled that “if you’re an aider and abettor,…

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Name: People v. Patterson (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1215
Case #: F086065
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/26/2024

Defendant’s murder conviction could not be redesignated as a first degree residential burglary because that was not the “underlying felony” (Pen. Code, § 1172.6(e)) of defendant’s felony murder conviction. Defendant filed a section 1172.6 resentencing petition to vacate his murder conviction, and the court determined he was eligible for relief. Although defendant had been convicted under a theory of felony murder, with attempted robbery as the underlying felony, the trial court redesignated his murder conviction to attempted robbery and first degree residential burglary. Defendant appealed. Held: Reversed. Under section 1172.6(e), a “petitioner’s conviction shall be redesignated as the target offense…

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Name: People v. Rios (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1128
Case #: G061764
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/23/2024

Laser narcotics identification test (TruNarc) is based on a new scientific technique and the prosecution failed to establish its admissibility under the Kelly rule. Following a search of Rios’s vehicle and hotel room, an officer seized substances that he later tested using a TruNarc laser device, which indicated that the substances were methamphetamine and carisoprodol (Soma) pills. A jury convicted Rios of drug offenses. On appeal, she argued the TruNarc evidence was not admissible under People v. Kelly (1976) 17 Cal.3d 24, which applies when a party seeks to introduce expert testimony on a new scientific technique. Held: Reversed in…

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Name: People v. McDowell (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1147
Case #: G062263
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/23/2024

Senate Bill No. 81 does not apply to the alternative punishment for human trafficking of a minor under Penal Code section 236.1(c)(2), as it is an alternative penalty provision and not an enhancement. Defendant was convicted of human trafficking of a minor (§ 236.1(c)) and other offenses, and sentenced to 23 years to life. This included an indeterminate term of 15 years to life under the alternative penalty provision of section 236.1(c)(2), which deals with human trafficking of a minor with aggravating circumstances. On appeal, defendant argued that SB 81 required the trial court to dismiss his elevated sentence of…

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Name: People v. Mares (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1158
Case #: E080611
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/23/2024

Trial court properly denied Penal Code section 1172.6 petition at the prima facie stage because the record of conviction unambiguously precluded petitioner’s assertion that he could not be convicted today because of the changes made by Senate Bill No. 1437. Mares pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter after admitting he stabbed a person during a one-on-one fight. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition, which was denied at the prima facie stage. Mares appealed, arguing the trial court erred by relying on the preliminary hearing transcript to engage in factfinding to determine he was the actual killer and by requiring him…

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Name: People v. Hall (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1116
Case #: B326944
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/22/2024

Trial court properly terminated pretrial mental health diversion and reinstated criminal proceedings pursuant to Penal Code section 1001.36(g) based on defendant’s uncharged criminal conduct. Shortly after being placed on pretrial mental health diversion, defendant was expelled from his residential treatment program for assaulting fellow participants and destroying property while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Defendant absconded but was taken into custody six months later. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred in reinstating criminal proceedings because he did not meet the statutory criteria for having his diversion terminated. Held: Affirmed. Where a defendant has been placed…

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Name: McElrath v. Georgia (2024) ___U.S.___ [144 S.Ct. 651]
Case #: 22-721
Court: US Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 02/21/2024

The double jeopardy clause bars Georgia State from retrying defendant for a crime that resulted in a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict, even though the jury returned inconsistent verdicts. Georgia State charged McElrath with malice murder and felony murder after he killed his mother. The jury returned a split verdict, finding McElrath not guilty by reason of insanity on the malice-murder charge and guilty but mentally ill on the felony-murder charge. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed with McElrath that the verdicts were repugnant under Georgia law (meaning the verdicts involve affirmative findings by the jury that are not…

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Name: People v. Garcia (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 1048
Case #: D081713
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/21/2024

Substantial evidence supported the superior court’s involuntary antipsychotic medication order. Based on the opinion of a licensed psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist, the trial court found that Garcia was mentally incompetent to stand trial and that she lacked the capacity to make decisions regarding the administration of antipsychotic medication. On appeal, Garcia alleged numerous errors with the court’s order authorizing the state hospital to involuntarily administer antipsychotic medication to her. Held: Affirmed. A trial court is required to permit involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication if it finds one of three sets of conditions to be true. (§ 1370(a)(2)(B)(i)(I)–(III) & (ii).) Here, Garcia…

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Name: People v. Killian (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 191
Case #: H050320, H050557
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/20/2024
Subsequent History: Ordered published 3/5/2024

Notwithstanding the plural language stated in Vehicle Code section 10802, which criminalizes vehicle identification number (VIN) tampering, the section may be violated by tampering with a single, as opposed to multiple, VIN’s. Defendant purchased a 2012 F-150 truck to drive back to California. Soon after he arrived, the truck’s engine failed. He testified that he then got a “pretty great deal” on a 2010 F-150, which turned out to be stolen. Defendant admitted he took the VIN plate from his 2012 truck and put it over the VIN plate of the stolen 2010 truck. He testified he was trying to save…

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Name: People v. Rouston (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 997
Case #: D080114
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/20/2024

Trial court prejudicially erred in permitting prosecution’s gang expert witness to opine on whether appellant fired the bullet that struck the victim where that opinion was based solely on the claims of percipient witnesses and relied on no special expertise. The prosecution’s gang expert testified multiple times throughout the trial, telling the jury that each witness’s testimony bolstered his opinion that Rouston was holding a particular firearm, that the firearm was the first fired in the incident, and that the first shot was the one that struck the victim. On appeal, Rouston argued, inter alia, that this testimony was improper…

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Name: People v. Yeager-Reiman (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 843
Case #: B331175
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/16/2024

Defendant’s prosecution for grand theft based on defrauding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was not preempted by federal law. Defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanor grand theft. On appeal, defendant argued his prosecution was preempted by federal law because he was a veteran and his alleged offenses concerned the theft of benefits from the VA. Held: Affirmed. The Court of Appeal disagreed with defendant’s argument that his prosecution was preempted by federal law—“field” and “obstacle” preemption—and that the trial court was thus without jurisdiction to hear his case. Field preemption exists when Congress intended to foreclose any state regulation in the area. In such…

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