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Name: People v. Brooks (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 323
Case #: D080776
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/30/2024

Where the victim in a domestic violence case did not take the stand but asserted a valid Fifth Amendment privilege through counsel, the trial court did not err in instructing the jury with CALCRIM No. 320 regarding her failure to testify. A jury found defendant guilty of both inflicting corporal injury on a domestic partner, R.J., and committing assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. R.J. did not testify at trial but the court instructed the jury that R.J. had asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. On appeal, defendant argued that because R.J. was not called and…

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Name: People v. Ramirez (2023) 98 Cal.App.5th 175
Case #: H049957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/22/2023

Even assuming the compelled use of defendant’s fingerprint to unlock his cell phone constitutes a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, there was no Fourth Amendment violation because use of defendant’s fingerprint was authorized by the search warrants. Jane Doe 1’s mother reported that defendant had taken inappropriate pictures of Jane Doe 1 on his phone. After obtaining electronic communications search warrants to search defendant’s phone, an officer went to the jail and used defendant’s fingerprint to unlock the phone and view its contents. When the phone locked and officers were unable to open it, they obtained another…

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Name: People v. Farwell
Case #: S231009
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/21/2018

When a trial court fails to advise a defendant and take waivers of any of his trial rights before accepting a guilty plea, the Howard totality of the circumstances test applies to determine whether the plea is valid. Farwell was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor driving with a suspended or revoked license. Prior to trial, he attempted to plead no contest to the misdemeanor charge. The prosecution objected and the court did not accept the change of plea. After defense counsel cross-examined the first witness during trial, the parties entered into a stipulation that established all of the…

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Name: U.S. v. Hulen
Case #: 16-30160
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/10/2018

Defendant's admissions during mandatory sex offender treatment may be used during proceedings to revoke his supervised release because the right against self-incrimination does not prohibit the use of an admission during these proceedings. While on supervised release, Hulen admitted violating the conditions of his release in the course of his mandatory sex offender treatment. Based on those admissions, he was terminated from treatment and the district court revoked his supervised release. On appeal, he argued the use of his statements to his treatment provider to revoke his supervised release violated his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. Held: Affirmed.…

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Name: People v. Solorio
Case #: D070794
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/16/2017

After finding there was jury misconduct where jurors discussed the defendant's decision not to testify several times despite repeated admonitions not to consider that topic, trial court erred by concluding the misconduct was not prejudicial. Solorio was convicted of first degree murder after a jury trial in which he did not testify. The jury was instructed not to consider the fact that he did not testify. After the verdict, Solorio moved for a new trial based on information from the jury foreperson that the jurors had discussed Solorio's decision not to testify several times during deliberations and inferred that…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: S218197
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/20/2017

Probation condition requiring sex offenders to submit to polygraph examinations as part of Chelsea's Law does not violate Fifth Amendment where responses cannot be used against probationers in a later criminal proceeding. Defendant was placed on probation following his conviction for several sex offenses. The court imposed a condition of probation requiring defendant to waive his privilege against self-incrimination and submit to polygraph examinations. He appealed, arguing the condition violates his Fifth Amendment rights. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 1203.067, subdivision (b)(3) (part of Chelsea's Law) requires a convicted sex offender, as a condition of probation, to waive any privilege…

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Name: U.S. v. Willimas et al.
Case #: 15-10475
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/05/2016

A defendant's unwarned response to booking question regarding gang affiliation may not be used against him at trial. Gilton was arrested for murder and immediately invoked his right to counsel. When he was booked into jail, he was asked about his gang affiliation and he admitted he was in a gang. Initially charged in state court, Gilton was indicted by a federal grand jury on racketeering charges and the state case was dismissed. His response to the gang-affiliation question was relevant to establish his membership in an "enterprise" for purposes of the RICO charges against him (18 U.S.C. § 1962(c),…

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Name: People v. Forney
Case #: A144450
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/04/2016

Probation condition requiring that probationer waive Fifth Amendment rights and submit to polygraph tests or else face the denial of probation and incarceration is unconstitutional; Fifth Amendment waiver requirement must be stricken. Forney was placed on probation after pleading no contest to two sex offenses. He appealed, arguing that a probation condition that required a Fifth Amendment waiver and that he submit to polygraph tests or else face denial of probation and incarceration was unconstitutionally coercive. Held: Condition stricken in part. Minnesota v. Murphy (1984) 465 U.S. 420, and McKune v. Lile (2002) 536 U.S. 24, 35, "make clear a…

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Name: People v. Debouver
Case #: B262455
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/27/2016

Defendant who broke into secure subterranean garage of apartment building, where he was confronted by the apartment manager, committed first degree burglary with person present. A jury convicted defendant of first degree burglary (Pen. Code, § 459) with a "person present" finding (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (c)(21)), rendering the offense a violent felony. The trial court found alleged priors true and sentenced defendant to prison. On appeal defendant challenged the "person present" finding as to the burglary. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21) includes in the list of violent felonies any first degree burglary where it is…

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Name: Jones v. Harrington
Case #: 13-56360
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/22/2016

Once a defendant unambiguously invokes his right to remain silent, his responses to further questioning cannot render his invocation ambiguous; state court's contrary conclusion was an unreasonable application of Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436. After three hours of police interrogation, Jones told officers, "I don't want to talk no more." The officers asked a follow-up question and the interrogation continued, culminating in a confession. The trial court denied Jones' motion to suppress the confession as obtained in violation of Miranda. Jones appealed and the state appellate court affirmed. The court reasoned that Jones did not unambiguously invoke his…

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