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Name: People v. Perez
Case #: S248730
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 02/27/2020

Defendant's failure to object at trial, before People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665 was decided, did not forfeit a claim that a gang expert's testimony related case-specific hearsay in violation of the confrontation clause. Perez, Chavez, and Sandoval were charged with gang-related murders and other offenses. A gang expert testified for the prosecution and defense counsel did not object. Defendants were convicted and appealed. While defendants' appeals were pending, the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Sanchez. Relying on Sanchez, Chavez filed a supplemental brief arguing that the gang expert's testimony related case-specific hearsay in violation of…

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: B282867
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 01/09/2018

Defense counsel's concession of defendant's guilt on charge of hit and run was not tantamount to a guilty plea and does not require reversal of that conviction. While driving under the influence of alcohol, Lopez hit and killed a motorcyclist, then fled the scene. He had prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. Lopez was convicted of second degree murder and felony hit and run resulting in death. On appeal he argued his attorney's concession of guilt as to the hit and run, without any evidence he knowingly waived his constitutional trial rights, required reversal of his convictions.…

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Name: People v. Jones
Case #: B279694
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 08/21/2018

Murder conviction reversed where defendant's waiver of jury trial after bare two-question inquiry was not knowing and voluntary. Jones was convicted of second degree murder and child abuse following the death of her four-month-old daughter. On appeal she argued her waiver of jury trial was involuntary. Held: Reversed. A criminal defendant has a constitutional right to a trial by jury. This right may be waived but the waiver must be knowing and intelligent, that is, made with the awareness of the nature of the right being waived and the consequences of this decision. In determining whether a defendant has made…

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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: People v. Gandy
Case #: B264452
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 08/03/2017

Defendant may collaterally attack an out-of-state prior conviction on Boykin-Tahl grounds where the foreign State had "Tahl-like" requirements in place at the time of the plea. Opinion on rehearing. Gandy was charged with a number of offenses. Three prior Oregon convictions were alleged as strike priors. He moved to dismiss the Oregon priors on Boykin-Tahl grounds. His motion was denied and he pleaded no contest to several offenses and admitted one strike prior. He appealed and obtained a certificate of probable cause. Held: Affirmed. A defendant who pleads guilty may challenge his conviction on the ground the record fails to…

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Name: People v. Fox
Case #: D063169
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/05/2014

Trial court's misadvice regarding nature of charge and whether conviction would be a strike did not render defendant's waiver of counsel invalid. Fox was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1)) and vandalism for offenses committed against his ex-girlfriend. At trial, during a break in the prosecution's direct examination of the victim, the trial court granted Fox's request to represent himself. On appeal he claimed his waiver of counsel was invalid because, at a pretrial hearing, the court misadvised him regarding the assault charge. Specifically, the trial court erroneously agreed with Fox's statement…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: B239867
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 11/26/2013

It was harmless error for the trial court to allow the bailiff, outside defendant's presence, to demonstrate the operation of the murder weapon and to answer jury questions regarding the weapon. Johnson, a CHP officer, was convicted by jury of the first degree murder of her husband. On appeal Johnson claimed her right to be present during trial was violated when the trial court, outside her presence, allowed the bailiff to demonstrate the operation of the murder weapon (a gun) to the jury and answer questions regarding the weapon. Held: Affirmed. The federal and state Constitutions and Penal Code sections…

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Name: People v. Nguyen
Case #: E048880
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/20/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 11/26/13: S213703

Defendant's absence at SVP trial was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Nguyen was found to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) and committed to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for an indeterminate term following a petition for recommitment. Nguyen appealed on the grounds that the trial court erred in allowing his counsel to waive his presence at trial, and also that the indeterminate term for SVPs violates state and federal guarantees of equal protection. The commitment order was affirmed on appeal, and Nguyen petitioned for review. The California Supreme Court retransferred the case to the appellate court…

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Name: United States v. Barnes
Case #: 11-30107
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/18/2013

Defendant's federal drug conviction reversed where FBI agents deliberately delayed giving Miranda warnings in an effort to induce self-incrimination. Defendant was convicted of a federal drug offense after the trial court denied his motion to suppress statements he gave to FBI agents during a custodial interrogation. Held: Reversed. Barnes was told to attend a meeting by his parole officer, at which FBI agents confronted him with evidence of drug trafficking before giving him Miranda warnings. The confrontation occurred inside a police dominated, confined environment and lasted two hours. Barnes would not have felt free to leave and was therefore in…

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Name: People v. Linarez
Case #: C052722
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/05/2007
Subsequent History: rvw granted 1/16/08, S158154

A defendant can waive his 6th Amendment right to a jury trial on determination of aggravating factors necessary to justify an upper term sentence by entering a tailored Harvey waiver. (People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754.) Appellant pled guilty to assault and admitted a firearm enhancement. In entering his plea, he agreed to a Harvey waiver in which he stipulated that the trial court could consider defendant's prior criminal history and the entire factual background of the case when imposing sentence. Appellant also acknowledged the court could sentence him to a maximum 14-year term. Referring…

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