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Name: People v. Kim (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 857
Case #: B327473
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/16/2024

Trial court erred by denying the People’s motion to reinstate the criminal complaint because there was a rational basis for believing that each defendant committed the crime of filing a false peace officer report. During the course of a car chase that ended in a shoot-out with police, Deputy Kim and Deputy Miramontes’s patrol car collided with Martinez, who had exited the fleeing car and run away. Both deputies wrote reports about the event. After Martinez claimed that the deputies ran him over, investigators obtained residential video surveillance footage that contradicted the deputies’ reports and supported Martinez’s claim. The deputies…

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Name: Chavez v. Superior Court (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 165
Case #: B332361
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/25/2024

The trial court had inherent authority to reserve ruling on defendant’s pretrial motion to dismiss his gang enhancement allegations based on Assembly Bill No. 333 and to resubmit the allegations to the grand jury for the presentation of additional evidence bearing on the new elements. In 2017, Chavez and others were indicted by a grand jury on four felonies with gang enhancements. After AB 333 went into effect, Chavez moved to dismiss the gang enhancement allegations because the People had not presented evidence to the grand jury to support the new elements of the enhancement. The trial court ruled that…

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Name: People v. Manzo (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 538
Case #: E079991
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/17/2023

Trial court erred by dismissing felony charges against defendant where he failed to show that the five-year delay in prosecuting the case, which led to the loss of dashcam footage evidence, prejudiced him. In February 2017, the Riverside County District Attorney filed a complaint charging Manzo with three felony offenses based on evidence that was discovered during a traffic stop. Five years later, he was arrested and arraigned on the charges after completing his sentence in a different case. He moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that the delay in prosecuting him violated his due process rights. He…

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Name: People v. Aguilar-Jimenez (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 561
Case #: H050153
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/15/2023

A magistrate’s Penal Code section 871 dismissal of murder charges based on a legal conclusion did not divest the district attorney of the discretion to recharge them in the information under section 739. In December 2019, defendant was charged with two counts of murder and driving under the influence. The magistrate declined to hold him on the two murder counts due to a lack of probable cause under section 871. Two weeks later, under section 739, the district attorney filed an information recharging the same two murder counts. The court granted defendant’s 995 motion to dismiss the murder counts. The…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Tapia) (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 394
Case #: E080076
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/11/2023
Subsequent History: Opn. modified 8/2/2023

Trial court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed defendant’s case based on a finding that its pre-COVID chronic backlog was not good cause to extend Penal Code section 1382’s presumptive 60-day trial deadline. Defendant’s last day for trial under section 1382 was October 26, 2022, but there were no available courtrooms. Defendant successfully moved to dismiss his case. The trial court found there was no good cause to continue defendant’s trial because, although exceptional circumstances had justified past continuances during the pandemic, defendant could not be timely tried due to the court’s chronic backlog that was related to, but…

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Name: Rodas-Gramajo v. Superior Court (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 656
Case #: A166375
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/15/2023

A motion to set aside the information (Pen. Code, § 995) was the appropriate vehicle to challenge a gang enhancement allegation where the statute was amended by Assembly Bill No. 333 after the preliminary hearing. Petitioner was charged with various crimes and a gang enhancement triggering increased punishment (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)). While he awaited trial, AB 333 altered the requirements for imposing the gang enhancement. Petitioner filed a section 995 motion to dismiss the gang allegation, arguing the People failed to present sufficient evidence of the existence of a criminal street gang under amended section 186.22. The…

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Name: Barron v. Superior Court (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 628
Case #: F085382
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/13/2023
Subsequent History: Modified 4/26/2023

Where the first case against defendant was dismissed under Penal Code section 1385, the “good cause” exception to the two-dismissal rule did not apply and the third prosecution of defendant was barred. After petitioner was charged with a felony, the case was dismissed in the furtherance of justice under section 1385. A second complaint was filed with the same charges, but later dismissed under section 859(b) due to delays with the preliminary hearing. After a third complaint was filed, petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground that further prosecution was barred by the two-dismissal rule. The trial court denied the…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Fernandez)
Case #: E078405
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/01/2023

Magistrate erred in dismissing torture-murder special circumstance where evidence showed a rational ground for concluding defendant had the intent to kill. Defendant was charged with the premeditated murder of his 13-week-old son (Pen. Code, § 187, subd. (a)), and with the special circumstance that the murder was intentional and involved infliction of torture (§ 190.2, subd. (a)(18))). The magistrate found sufficient evidence to hold defendant as to the murder charge but not as to the special circumstance, reasoning that the evidence did not establish how the victim died or whether defendant had the intent to kill at that point. The…

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Name: Daws v. Superior Court (People)
Case #: A157383
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/14/2019

Trial courts have inherent authority to determine by local rule or as a matter of courtroom practice what "proper notice" under Penal Code section 1382 means, so long as a defendant's speedy trial rights are protected. In November 2018, Daws was charged with misdemeanor offenses. At arraignment he gave a time waiver. At a pretrial conference, Daw's attorney gave verbal notice that Daws was withdrawing his time waiver and invoking his speedy trial right. The trial court rejected his request, explaining that two days written notice to the prosecution was required before withdrawing a time waiver in open court. No…

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Name: Aslam v. Superior Court
Case #: A156628
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/08/2019

Following defendant's successful post-trial Williamson motion to vacate his Penal Code section 115 conviction, prosecution under the more specific statute (Veh. Code, § 20) does not violate double jeopardy even though defendant was acquitted of a separate perjury count. Aslam submitted a document containing false statements to the DMV. He was convicted of offering a false document (Pen. Code, § 115, subd. (a)), but acquitted of perjury (Pen. Code, § 118, subd. (a)). After the trial, Aslam moved to vacate his section 115 conviction, arguing that under In re Williamson (1954) 43 Cal.2d 651, the prosecution was required to charge…

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