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Name: People v. Chan
Case #: B169749
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/12/2005

The evidence was sufficient to uphold a conviction under Penal Code section 290 where the defendant had twice submitted an incorrect address under penalty of perjury, notwithstanding the fact that the second submission involved only an error of two digits. Because the California Supreme Court has held that merely forgetting to register is not a defense to a charge under section 290, it follows that merely forgetting one's correct address is also not a defense to that charge. The court further held that the corpus delicti rule does not apply where the defendant's extrajudicial statements constitute the crime…

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Name: People v. Neidinger
Case #: C042839
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/28/2005
Subsequent History: Rhrg. den. 4/14/05

A trial court’s failure to adequately instruct the jury on the relationship between malice and a good faith defense requires reversal. The defendant was convicted of two counts of being a lawful custodian of his children who maliciously deprived another lawful custodian of the children of her right to custody, in violation of Penal Code section 278.5, subdivision (a). Defendant argued on appeal that the trial court erred by instructing the jury that he had the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence,that he had a good faith and reasonable belief that if left with their mother,…

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Name: People v. Marlin
Case #: C043447
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2004
Subsequent History: 3/16/05: rev. den.

Even with a certificate of probable cause, a defendant may not challenge his plea based on complaints that do not go to the legality of the proceedings as contemplated by Penal Code section 1237.5. After pleading no contest to second degree murder of a fetus and various drunk driving offenses, the defendant asked to withdraw his plea on the grounds that he had received ineffective assistance from his retained counsel. Counsel declined to file a motion to withdraw the plea, and the defendant was sentenced to prison. He obtained a certificate of probable cause and challenged his…

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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. Bohana
Case #: B128162
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/25/2000
Subsequent History: Petn. rehg. den. 11/22/00; Petn. rev. den. 2/14/01

The Court of Appeal rejected the defendant's contention that the evidence was insufficient to support his second degree murder conviction as a matter of law. Here the defendant had made a "911" call at 3:45 a.m.. He reported that someone had fallen in his pool and was drowning. When emergency personnel arrived they found both the defendant and the unconscious female victim at the pool side. The defendant's account, which he maintained at trial, was that the victim could swim but had encountered some problems while swimming underwater in his pool. He tried to fish…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: A082341
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/25/2000
Subsequent History: Rehg. den. 11/15/01

The defendant, a prison guard at Pelican Bay State Prison, was charged with "setting up" inmates who had been convicted of criminal offenses involving children. It was alleged that the defendant and his supervisor would identify such persons to "the shot callers" and take action to make sure that the perpetrators were not injured or charged by prison staff. In exchange the guards received gifts from prisoners. The Court of Appeal found that sufficient evidence existed to corroborate the inmate accomplices on the question of conspiracy to commit the assault, as it was shown by independent evidence that…

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Name: People v. Martin
Case #: S087880
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/02/2001
Subsequent History: None

In 1971, the Court held in People v. Mijares (1971) 6 Cal.3d 415, that under limited circumstances, momentary or transitory possession of an unlawful narcotic for the sole purpose of disposing of it could constitute a defense for possession. In 1988, the appellate court in People v. Cole (1988) 202 Cal.App. 3d 1439 interpreted the decision in Mijares to hold that transitory possession for the sole purpose of disposal did not constitute unlawful possession. In this case, the Court granted review to clarify the nature and scope of the affirmative defense announced in Mijares. The Court held…

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