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Name: People v. Faranso
Case #: E061840
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/11/2015

California trial court did not have jurisdiction to grant a certificate of rehabilitation for a person who had been convicted of a crime in a different state. In 1995, Faranso pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree against a minor in Michigan State. He moved to California in 2001, and filed a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon in 2014. Over the People's objection, the trial court granted the certificate of rehabilitation. The court denied the petition to pardon, recognizing that it could not grant that relief because the conviction…

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Name: People v. Banks
Case #: S213819
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/09/2015

Insufficient evidence supports a felony-murder special circumstance when the defendant's only participation in the underlying felony is as a getaway driver. Matthews was the getaway driver for an armed robbery in which Banks and others participated. During the robbery, Banks shot and killed one of the victims. The jury found Matthews guilty of first degree murder under a felony-murder theory and found true a felony-murder special circumstance (Pen. Code, § 190.2, subd. (a)(17)). The People did not seek the death penalty and Matthews was sentenced to mandatory LWOP. (See Pen. Code, § 190.2, subd. (d).) Matthews appealed. The Court of…

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Name: People v. Beckemeyer
Case #: D065565
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/05/2015

Postconviction domestic violence protective order (Pen. Code, § 136.2, subd. (i)(1)) may include a person the defendant actually assaulted during a domestic violence incident, even if the victim and the defendant did not have a domestic relationship. After Beckemeyer's girlfriend broke up with him, he went to her house, beat her and her adult son, and then tried to snap her neck. He pled guilty to attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend and assault with a deadly weapon on her son. The trial court also imposed a protective order under section 136.2, subdivision (i)(1) restraining him from having any contact with…

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Name: Johnson v. United States
Case #: 13-7120
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/26/2015

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984's definition of "violent felony" as an offense that "involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another" is unconstitutionally vague. Johnson was convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a gun. The court sentenced Johnson to a 15-year prison term under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984, which provides that a defendant who has previously been convicted of three or more "violent felonies" is subject to an increased prison sentence. The district court had concluded that a prior state conviction qualified as…

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Name: Yohner v. Cal. Dept. of Justice
Case #: D065985
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/22/2015

Stepgrandparent who molested stepgranddaughter does not qualify for exclusion from Megan's Law website. Yohner was convicted of molesting his stepgranddaughter (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)). He filed an application with DOJ under Penal Code section 290.46, subdivision (e)(2)(D)(i) for an exclusion from being listed on the Megan's Law Internet website. DOJ denied his application on the basis that stepgrandparents were not eligible for exclusion from the website. Yohner filed a petition for writ of mandate requesting that the trial court order DOJ to exclude him from the website. The trial court denied the petition and Yohner appealed. Held: Affirmed.…

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Name: People v. Therman
Case #: C077322
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/20/2015

Trial court properly imposed a five-year domestic violence protective order prohibiting the defendant from having contact with his wife (Pen. Code, § 136.2, subd. (i)) after he pled guilty to falsely imprisoning her (Pen. Code, § 236). Therman was charged with residential burglary, making criminal threats, and inflicting corporal injury on his spouse. He pled no contest to false imprisonment. The prosecutor stated that the factual basis for the plea was that false imprisonment was reasonably related to the crime of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse in that Therman used "force and/or violence [to] force his spouse to stay…

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Name: People v. Velasco
Case #: D066979
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/13/2015

A conviction for participating in a criminal street gang (Pen. Code, § 186.22 subd. (a)) requires evidence that two gang members from the same gang, not merely two gang members, acted together in committing felonious criminal conduct. Appellant (a "Puente 13" gang member) was convicted of robbery, participating in the felonious conduct of a criminal street gang, and other offenses, based on evidence he aided an 18th Street gang member, de la Paz, in obtaining money from Bransford. One issue on appeal was the sufficiency of the gang participation evidence. Held: Reversed. Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (a) requires evidence…

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Name: People v. Vidana
Case #: G050399
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 01/26/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/1/2015: S224546

Defendant cannot be convicted of both larceny and embezzlement based on the same act because they are not separate offenses; they are two ways of committing theft. Vidana worked as a credit agent for a concrete company and, as part of her duties, would accept cash payments from customers. While Vidana was on leave, it was discovered that over $58,000 in cash payments were missing from accounts that Vidana was responsible for monitoring. A jury found her guilty of grand theft by larceny (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (a)) and grand theft by embezzlement (Pen. Code, § 503).…

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Name: People v. $2,709
Case #: B250709
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/26/2014

A civil action to forfeit less than $25,000 cash need not be tried or otherwise settled at the same time that the criminal defendant enters a plea on the underlying or related criminal drug charges. Police found Bradford in possession of cocaine and $2,709 in cash. She was charged with possessing cocaine for sale. (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351.5.) The People also commenced a forfeiture proceeding with respect to the $2,709 pursuant to Health and Safety Code sections 11488.4 and 11470 and served Bradford with requests for admissions regarding the ownership and use of the money. Bradford pled guilty…

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Name: People v. Gjersvold
Case #: E059392
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/15/2014

Trial court properly instructed jury that a jail officer must give informed consent in order for an ex-convict's entry upon jail grounds to be authorized. Appellant used his revoked private investigator's license to enter a county jail to interview an inmate. Although a sheriff's deputy gave him permission to enter the jail, appellant had failed to inform the deputy that he was an ex-convict. He was convicted of violating Penal Code section 4571, which prohibits ex-convicts from entering prison grounds without the consent of the warden or other officer in charge. At trial, the court had…

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