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Name: Mendoza v. Superior Court (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 42
Case #: F084354
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/03/2023

Assembly Bill No. 333’s changes to the elements of gang-related charges apply retroactively to preliminary hearing proceedings. Mendoza sought a writ of mandamus after the superior court denied his Penal Code section 995 motion to dismiss a charge for active participation in a criminal street gang and the gang enhancements attached to multiple counts. He asserted that the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, while sufficient at the time of the hearing, was now insufficient in light of the changes to Penal Code section 186.22 by AB 333. The Court of Appeal ultimately issued an order directing the respondent to…

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Name: Del Castillo v. Superior Court (People)
Case #: A157306
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/21/2019

Because defendant's Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 hold did not automatically toll the 60-day time period for his preliminary hearing, the information in his case must be set aside. Defendant was charged with a felony in a complaint and was arraigned. He did not waive his right to have the preliminary hearing commence within 60 days. However, he did not appear on the date set for the hearing because he was in custody at a hospital for a mental health evaluation pursuant to section 5150. The preliminary hearing was ultimately held more than 60 days after…

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Name: People v. Smith
Case #: A141407
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/17/2016

Trial court erred by dismissing a complaint where prosecutor, without giving notice, requested a continuance of the preliminary hearing to a date within 10 court days of the defendant's plea. Smith with charged with possessing heroin. He invoked his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 court days of his not guilty plea pursuant to Penal Code section 859b. The hearing was set for March 6, 2014 and the parties and court agreed that March 10, 2014 was the tenth day. On March 6, the prosecutor made an oral request for a continuance to March 10 under Penal Code section…

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Name: People v. Arroyo
Case #: S219178
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/14/2016

Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (d) allows certain juveniles accused of specified offenses to be charged directly in criminal court by grand jury indictment. A grand jury indicted Arroyo, a juvenile, and six codefendants for various gang-related offenses. The grand jury also found reasonable cause to believe that Arroyo came within the provisions of section 707(d)(4), which permits charges against a juvenile to be filed directly in criminal court if certain criteria are met. Arroyo demurred to the indictment on the ground that section 707(d)(4) requires the prosecution to proceed by way of preliminary hearing and information when…

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Name: Mason v. Superior Court
Case #: C075149
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2015

Prosecution may obtain an indictment charging defendant with arson (Pen. Code, § 451) despite the fact he was already held to answer for illegal burning (Pen. Code, § 452). In July 2012, Mason threw an illegal firework into a swimming hole. It floated on the surface of the water, then exploded, shooting sparks into the air. Some of the sparks landed on dry brush and ignited a forest fire that burned 2,650 acres. He was initially charged by complaint with arson with enhanced penalties and the lesser offense of unlawful burning. At the preliminary hearing the arson charges were dismissed…

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Name: People v. Lind et al.
Case #: B250350
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/15/2014

A defendant's motion to disqualify the magistrate for cause tolls the time limit for a preliminary hearing. Lind and Murphy were charged with conspiracy to commit perjury and perjury. They pled not guilty. Because they did not waive their right to a speedy trial, they were entitled to a preliminary hearing within 60 days. (Pen. Code, § 859b.) Before the preliminary hearing, Murphy filed a request to disqualify the judge (Code Civ. Proc., § 170.1, subd. (a)(6)(iii)), which was granted. The preliminary hearing was eventually held, but not within the 60-day time limit. The trial court…

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Name: People v. Gutierrez
Case #: A134695
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/12/2013

The prosecution's Brady obligation to disclose favorable and material evidence applies to preliminary hearings and was not abrogated by Proposition 115. Appellant was charged with two counts of Penal Code section 288, subdivision (a), and held to answer on the offenses following a preliminary hearing. Subsequent to the hearing, the defense obtained police reports from the juvenile court that revealed that one of the alleged victims had previously made accusations of molestation that were determined to have been unfounded. The trial court granted appellant's motion to dismiss and the People appealed. Held: Affirmed. The prosecution has a duty under the…

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Name: Bridgeforth v. Superior Court (People)
Case #: B244661
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/25/2013

Prosecutor did not violate her duty to disclose evidence prior to the preliminary hearing because photographs of the victim's truck were not favorable to the defense or material to the probable cause determination. Bridgeforth was charged with four offenses, including attempted murder and murder with a special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed while he was engaged in the commission of a robbery. The trial court denied Bridgeforth's motion to dismiss the information based on the prosecutor's failure to disclose, prior to the preliminary hearing, photographs of the attempted murder victim's truck, which denied him the right to confront…

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Name: Rayyis v. Superior Court
Case #: B181214
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 10/06/2005

Proposition 8 does not abrogate the corpus delicti rule at preliminary hearings. The trial court here concluded that under the California Supreme Court decision in People v. Alvarez (2002) 27 Cal.4th 1161, the corpus delicti rule no longer applies to preliminary hearings. The appellate court disagreed, noting that Proposition 8 only changes the rule excluding the defendant’s extra judicial statements under the corpus delicti rule. Proposition 8 does not alter the substantive aspects of the rule that are unrelated to the introduction of evidence. Thus, although there is no longer a basis for excluding a defendant’s statements…

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Name: People v. Love
Case #: A105802
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/29/2005

The time limit for a preliminary hearing does not apply to a defendant who waived the time limit and then failed to appear. The defendant, while out of custody, waived her right to have a preliminary hearing within ten and sixty days of her plea. She then failed to appear for a setting conference and was arrested on a bench warrant. Her preliminary hearing occurred fifteen days after her return to custody. The magistrate dismissed the complaint, finding the preliminary hearing untimely under Penal Code section 859b. The Court of Appeal reversed. While it…

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