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Name: People v. Jackson
Case #: F043820
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/29/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 7/27/05

Appellant struggled with the victim inside the victim's house, and used force to take and escape with a watch. He was convicted of burglary and robbery. It was undisputed that the victim did not know that his watch had been taken until appellant fled. On appeal, appellant argued that there was insufficient evidence of robbery because the victim was not aware that property was being taken. The appellate court rejected the argument. A victim of a robbery may be unconscious or even dead when the property is taken, although here there was clearly evidence of…

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Name: People v. Looney
Case #: B173593
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 12/22/2004
Subsequent History: 3/30/05: revw. den.

Defendants who induced a mentally infirm person to sign documents were not guilty of forgery where they did not misrepresent the nature of the documents. On appeal from the granting of the defendants’ motion to dismiss under Penal Code section 995, the People argued that since the procuring of a genuine signature to an instrument by fraudulent representations constitutes forgery, the defendants should be tried on forgery charges where they created a "false reality" for the victim by taking advantage of his mental impairment. The Court of Appeal disagreed, noting that no element of trick or fraud existed…

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Name: People v. Wallace
Case #: F042778
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/19/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 1/26/05

A spouse may be criminally liable for vandalism to a marital home. After his wife caught him smoking crack and ordered him out of the house, the defendant inflicted over $9,000 of damage to the house and over $6,000 of damage to the furnishings. A jury found him guilty of felony vandalism, and the appellate court affirmed. The court noted that vandalism differs from burglary and trespass due to the nature of the crime and the fact that vandalism necessarily harms the other spouse’s community property interests. The court thus declined to extend case law protecting…

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Name: People v. Philpot
Case #: E034238
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/27/2004
Subsequent History: 10/27/04 rhg. den.; 12/1/04 revw. den.

Appellant was found guilty of two counts of auto theft for stealing a pickup truck with an attached utility trailer, which contained about $5000 worth of landscaping equipment. On appeal, he argued that his conviction for the second count had to be reversed because the theft of an automobile with a trailer supports only one conviction for vehicle theft. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. Vehicle Code section 10851 proscribes the taking of a vehicle, not a motor vehicle. Because a trailer qualifies as a vehicle under the code, appellant was properly convicted of two counts.…

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Name: In re Wasif M.
Case #: B166776
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 06/04/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 9/15/04

The juvenile court made appellant a ward of the court after finding that he had thrown stones at a bus in violation of Penal Code section 219.2. On appeal, the minor contended that section 219.2 occurs only if the defendant throws a stone with the specific intent to strike or wreck a bus. He claimed there was insufficient proof that he intended to or did throw rocks "at" the bus. The appellate court rejected his argument. The plain language of the statute does not support the contention that section 219.2 requires the specific intent to…

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Name: People v. Laiwala
Case #: H022070
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/10/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. & DEPUBLISHED 5/12/04

A defendant who stole a portion of a DVD-scrambling program from his employer was not guilty of trade-secret theft where the prosecution failed to prove each element of that offense. The Court of Appeal vacated the defendant’s conviction under Penal Code section 499c because the record contained insufficient evidence to establish that the stolen code constituted a trade secret. The court held that information qualifies as a trade secret only if the information derives independent value both from not being known to the general public and from not being known to those who could obtain economic value from its…

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: S106681
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/24/2003
Subsequent History: None

The California Supreme Court concluded that the felonious taking element of the crime of carjacking (Pen. Code, sec. 215) requires asportation or movement of the motor vehicle…

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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: E032545
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/13/2003
Subsequent History: None

Defendant was properly convicted of both operating a chop shop (Veh. Code, sec. 10801) and receiving stolen motor vehicle parts (Pen. Code, sec. 496, subd. (a), even though as a general rule, receiving stolen property is a lesser included offense of operating a chop shop. Here, however, defendant made dual use of the stolen parts: he installed some of the parts in his own vehicle and placed other stolen parts in the chop shop. Thus, because the two convictions were not predicated on the chop shop's possession of the same parts, both convictions were…

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Name: People v. Traster
Case #: B158270
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/15/2003
Subsequent History: 10/1/03 Rehrg. denied

In a case in which a computer administrator falsely represented to two of his former employers that he would obtain Microsoft licenses for company software, the court modified the convictions to grand theft by trick and attempted grand theft by trick from grand theft by false pretenses. Since defendant never acquired title to the money he was given to purchase the licenses, the crime involved was larceny by trick. In the second case, in which he never obtained possession or control of the firm's money, he was guilty only of attempted larceny by…

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Name: People v. Coryell
Case #: E030693
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/28/2003

Substantial evidence supported a carjacking conviction where appellant grabbed the owner of the vehicle and threatened him with a knife, the owner and his girlfriend ran, and were a block away from the vehicle at the time it was taken. Appellant's violence was sufficient to frighten the victims into fleeing the car. Therefore, the appellate court here rejected appellant's arguments that the victims were not in possession of the car for purposes of the carjacking statute. Nor was there instructional error because the jury was instructed that "immediate presence" included an area within the observation of the…

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