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Name: People v. Duran
Case #: G024274
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/14/2001
Subsequent History: Rehg. den. 8/22/01

Appellant forced the driver of a car back into the car at gunpoint, and ordered him to drive. The driver's wife and baby were also in the car. The court held that a felonious taking under the carjacking statute can occur when the victim remains with the car. A taking occurs when the defendant exercises dominion and control over the car by ordering the victim to drive and directing him where to go. The court reversed a single conviction for carjacking as a necessarily included offense of the three kidnaping for carjacking convictions. The court…

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Name: People v. Sparks
Case #: D034981
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/03/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 8/15/01 as S098290

Sparks entered the victim's home with consent, to discuss magazines he was selling. He then followed her into another room of the home and raped her. He was convicted of both rape and residential burglary. The jury was instructed that a person who enters a building or any room of a building with the intent to commit rape was guilty of burglary. The appellate court here held that although entry into a room with the requisite intent may be an entry into a dwelling house which falls under the definition of first degree burglary, the jury…

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Name: People v. Labaer
Case #: D034632
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/05/2001
Subsequent History: None

The evidence was sufficient to support the finding that a stripped down mobile home was a structure, within the meaning of Penal Code 451, subdivision (c) (arson). Shortly before the fire, appellant had removed trusses from the roof, aluminum siding, and sliding glass doors. The Legislature could not have intended a defendant to have obtained a lesser punishment by attempting to take apart a building shortly before setting it on fire. There was substantial evidence that it remained as a standing and constructed structure that had four sides enclosed by some material and a partial…

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Name: People v. Crossdale
Case #: F033853
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/04/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 6/27/01 as S097222

A first conviction of obtaining telephone services by fraud in violation of Penal Code section 502.7, subdivision (a) is a misdemeanor when the amount of the loss is less than $400. The court agreed that the statute incorporated the demarcation between grand and petty…

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Name: People v. Salgado
Case #: B134841
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 03/28/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 7/25/01

Although the trial court had the power to dismiss the carjacking charge, it was error to do so based on insufficient evidence. There was sufficient evidence for a rational jury to have concluded that Salgado aided and abetted the carjacking. There was evidence not only that Salgado was present, but also that he drove the vehicle and was still in the car when a drive-by shooting took place 40 minutes later. Therefore, the dismissal order was…

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Name: People v. Atkins
Case #: S082662
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/12/2001
Subsequent History: None

Evidence of voluntary intoxication is not admissible under Penal Code section 22 on the issue of whether a defendant formed the required mental state for arson. Arson is a general intent crime, and evidence of voluntary intoxication is inadmissible to negate the existence of general criminal intent. Here, the Third District Court of Appeal had held that arson was a general intent crime, but that the intent required for a violation of Penal Code section 451 required proof that the defendant acted with a specific and particularly culpable mental state. The Supreme Court here reversed. The…

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Name: People v. Alvarado
Case #: H020636
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/16/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 5/23/01

The failure to instruct the jury on the meaning of the phrase "during the commission of a burglary" included in Penal Code section 667.61, the "one strike" law, was not error because it has no technical legal meaning. Jurors would naturally understand the phrase to include at least the time that a burglar remains inside the structure after entry. Defense counsel's failure to object to the trial court's failure to state reasons justifying the imposition of consecutive terms does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel where the objectives of the two offenses were clearly different and where the…

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Name: People v. Valdez
Case #: C031612
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/30/2001
Subsequent History: Review granted 5/2/01 (S095660)

Editor's Note: Review granted. A conviction for felony child endangerment and enhancement for child endangerment resulting in death were reversed where the court instructed, and the prosecutor argued to the jury, that the necessary mental state was met by proof of criminal negligence. Appellant Valdez was the mother of a baby who died of head injuries sustained while in her boyfriend's care. The case against her was based on the repeated "coincidental" injuries to the baby during the time she lived with her boyfriend, Lebron, and the testimony of friends and acquaintances who had urged Valdez not to…

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Name: People v. Allen
Case #: B136331
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/30/2001
Subsequent History: Review denied 5/2/01

Appellant was improperly convicted of auto burglary where he gained access to the vehicle's trunk by opening an unlocked passenger door and lifting a trunk latch to open it. Auto burglary can only be committed by entering a locked vehicle without the owner's consent. Appellant did not use any tools or force to enter the vehicle, but gained access through unlocked doors. The second "entry," into the trunk was gained by pulling a latch inside the open vehicle. Legally, this action was no different than entering the unlocked vehicle. If appellant had entered the locked…

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Name: People v. Valencia
Case #: G023666
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/12/2001
Subsequent History: Review granted 5/16/01 (S095385)

Editor's Note: Review granted. There was insufficient evidence of burglary where appellant removed the screen from the window of the victim's home, but did not succeed in prying the window open. No part of appellant's body was inside the premises, and appellant never penetrated the air space of the interior, only the space between the screen and the window. A jury instruction which defined entry as including where an object under the defendant's control invades the space between the screen and window, was erroneously given. Appellant could only be guilty of attempted burglary as a matter…

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