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Name: People v. Strohman
Case #: B134371
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/23/2000
Subsequent History: Petition for review den. 1/30/01

Disagreeing with People v. King (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 472, the Second District here held that receiving stolen property is not a necessarily included offense of operating a "chop shop" in violation of Vehicle Code sections 250, and 10801. Because a person may be guilty of operating a chop shop without committing the offense of receiving stolen property, because the property could have been acquired through fraud rather than theft or extortion, neither the statutory definitions nor the accusatory pleading bar appellant's convictions for both…

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Name: People v. Perez
Case #: A088691
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/07/2000
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 2/14/01

This first attempt to define the intent necessary to sustain a conviction for kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, the court analogized to kidnapping during the commission of a robbery, and adopted the following test: if there is substantial evidence that appellant intended the kidnapping to effect an escape or prevent an alarm from being sounded, the intent requirement has been satisfied. It does not matter whether the kidnapping actually did effect an escape or prevent an alarm from being sounded. The question is whether appellant intended it for that purpose, and here the evidence was…

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Name: Cleveland v. United States
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 11/07/2000
Subsequent History: None

Permits or licenses to operate video poker machines in Louisiana do not constitute property within the meaning of the federal mail fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1341. It is not sufficient that the object of the mail fraud may become property in the recipient's hands. The statute requires that the thing obtained must be property in the hands of the victim. Video poker licenses do not rank as property in the hands of the official licensor. Cleveland's conviction must be…

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Name: People v. Muszynski
Case #: H021243
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/26/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. denied 10/16/02.

The aggravated arson statute (Pen. Code, sec. 451.5, subd. (a)(3)), requires damage to five or more inhabited structures, which in turn is defined as a "building," among other things. A building is a "covered structure that stands predominately by itself and appears more separate and distinct from any other structure than connected to and a part of another structure." Thus there was insufficient evidence to support appellant’s conviction for aggravated arson where six apartments were damaged, but they were virtually identical units in a two-story structure; the upper units shared a common roof and…

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Name: People v. Valencia
Case #: S095385
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/03/2002
Subsequent History: None

Appellant removed a screen from a residence window and tried unsuccessfully to open the window with a screwdriver. A jury found him guilty of burglary. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that appellant was guilty only of attempted first degree burglary because penetration into the area behind a window screen does not amount to an entry of a building within the meaning of the statute, at least when the window is closed and not penetrated. The Supreme Court here reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal. A window screen is part of the outer boundary…

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Name: People v. Sparks
Case #: S098290
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/06/2002
Subsequent History: None

The California Supreme Court granted review in this case to address the conflict in Court of Appeal decisions concerning whether a defendant’s entry into a bedroom within a single-family house with the requisite intent can support a burglary conviction if that intent was formed only after the defendant’s entry into the house. (Appellant was selling magazines and entered the home with consent in order to get a glass of water. He followed the victim into her bedroom and raped her. The prosecution argued that appellant was guilty of burglary if he formed the intent to rape prior…

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Name: People v. Kozlowski
Case #: A091586
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/04/2002
Subsequent History: Rehg. denied 3/28/02, rev. denied 5/15/02.

The issue presented of first impression was whether a PIN code is "property" for purposes of a kidnapping for extortion conviction. Cases and statutes define the term "property" in the context of theft-based offenses as the exclusive right to use or possess a thing or the exclusive ownership of a thing. A PIN is a code number that operates as a means of account access. Thus, the PIN is property because it implies the right to use that access code — and to access the funds in the related bank account by means of that code. …

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: F036242
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/10/2002
Subsequent History: Depublished. Rev. granted 6/26/02: S106681

Appellant Lopez forced the driver of a vehicle out of the car at gunpoint, and then entered the car and threw his backpack on the seat. Before he could drive away, the victim confronted him, which caused appellant to leave the vehicle and flee. He was convicted of carjacking, and in this appeal challenged the evidence supporting the finding that a carjacking had been completed when the car had not been moved. The appellate court here affirmed. Appellant had successfully "taken" the car for purposes of the carjacking statute, despite the fact that he had not…

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Name: People v. Crossdale
Case #: S097222
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 02/21/2002
Subsequent History: reversed and remanded.

A first offense under Penal Code section 502.7, subdivision (a) (obtaining telephone services by fraud), may be punished as a felony even if the amount of the loss does not exceed $400. Such an offense remains a wobbler. The statute does not incorporate the $400 demarcation between petty and grand theft established in Penal Code section 487, subdivision…

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Name: People v. Vargas
Case #: B146790
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/25/2002
Subsequent History: None

Appellant walked up to the driver’s side of an occupied rental car, pointed a gun at the driver, and demanded he get out of the car and turn over his wallet. The keys were still in the ignition of the car, but appellant was unable to start and drive it. He was convicted of robbery and carjacking. The appellate court here reversed the carjacking conviction. Since there was no movement of the car , there was no completed carjacking. Therefore, a reduction of that offense to the crime of carjacking and remand for resentencing…

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