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Name: People v. Maestas
Case #: A108030
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/30/2005

A defendant’s prior conviction for failure to appear was admissible at trial for impeachment purposes. The defendant testified on his own behalf during his jury trial for assault with a deadly weapon, and was impeached with evidence of three unspecified felony convictions and a misdemeanor conviction of lying to a police officer. On appeal, he argued that his conviction for failing to appear was improperly admitted as impeachment evidence because the offense does not involve moral turpitude. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument, holding that a defendant who fails to show up in court after securing his liberty based on a promise to appear has engaged in inherently dishonest conduct. Thus, failure to appear is a crime of moral turpitude.