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Name: People v. Vigil
Case #: H032972
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/12/2008

Article I, section 15, of the California Constitution guarantees a defendant the right to counsel of an attorney admitted to the State Bar, and the right is violated when the attorney representing a defendant resigns from the Bar with charges pending during a defendant's trial. And such error is reversible per se. Appellant was convicted at a court trial of felony spousal abuse. Between the third and fourth days of trial, appellant’s attorney submitted a letter of resignation to the State Bar, with charges pending. Under the California State Constitution and the holding of In re Johnson (1992) 1 Cal.4th…

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Name: People v. Robinson
Case #: C051338
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/29/2007

When a trial court suspends criminal proceedings because of a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's competence, it is required to appoint counsel for the defendant. Faretta v. California does not apply in competency proceedings. This is a requirement of statute (Pen. Code, s. 1368), and also a requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment, since a defendant cannot waive his right to fair competency proceedings. The court followed prior federal and state authority (the latter of which was pre-Faretta) which found that a court cannot question a defendant's competence to stand trial, and at the same time conclude…

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Name: People v. Earp
Case #: B201309
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/11/2008

A defendant is deprived of his right to counsel when counsel is either absent or prevented from assisting the defendant during a critical stage of the proceeding, and the error requires reversal without a showing of prejudice. (U.S. v. Cronic (1984) 466 U.S. 648; In re Johnson (1965) 62 Cal.2d 325.) After pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine for sale and admitting a prior "strike" conviction, defendant, as part of the plea bargain, was released from custody pending sentencing, with his sentence contingent on meeting specific conditions. He violated the conditions and upon his return approximately a year…

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Name: In re Kinnamon
Case #: B182713
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/11/2005

A prisoner is entitled to have counsel appointed to prepare a motion requesting DNA testing. Under Penal Code section 1405, a person convicted of a felony who is currently serving a term of imprisonment is entitled to file a motion for DNA testing. That section originally required the court to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant after the filing of such a motion. The statute was amended in 2001, however, to require the court to appoint counsel prior to preparation of the motion, upon the prisoner’s written request. Because it was undisputed that the prisoner here…

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Name: Bradley v. Henry
Case #: 04-15919
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/22/2005

A defendant who was excluded from an in-chambers meeting to determine whether her counsel had a conflict of interest or should otherwise be relieved was entitled to habeas relief. The defendant here challenged her California conviction on the ground that she was denied due process of law at a critical stage of her case with harm to ability to defend herself when she was excluded from in camera hearings on the matter, at which her present counsel was relieved and a new attorney was appointed. The deputy district attorney was present at the hearing but defendant was not. …

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Name: U.S. v. Perez-Lopez
Case #: 02-30358
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/07/2003
Subsequent History: None

An officer went to talk to defendant because a maid suspected defendant of making false identification cards in his motel room, since she had seen blank identification cards, a typewriter, and a laminating machine in defendant's motel room. Another officer translated the officer's Miranda warnings into Spanish, but the translation did not convey to the defendant the government's duty to appoint an attorney for those who could not afford one. This was a fatal flaw in the warning, and since the consent search occurred as a result of the fatally flawed warning, the evidence obtained in the resulting…

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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: D039730
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/01/2003

Because a mentally disordered offender commitment proceeding is civil in nature and provides for treatment, not punishment, Williams had no constitutional right to represent himself. However, because he had a statutory right to counsel, Williams could refuse counsel and represent himself, but such a right was governed only by due process principles. Here the court afforded him a hearing on the issue, but denied the request due to the severity and complexity of the issue. Moreover, any error in denying him the right to self-representation was harmless, because the request for self-representation concerned a desire to present inadmissible…

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Name: People v. Sanchez
Case #: H022692
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/19/2002
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 11/13/02: S110263

The gang registration requirement of Proposition 21 is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad, and does not violate the rights to privacy, against unreasonable search, against self-incrimination, to counsel, and against cruel and unusual punishment. It also does not violate the single subject…

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Name: People v. Crayton
Case #: S085780
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/08/2002
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 9/18/02

When a defendant charged with a felony has been advised (at arraignment on the complaint, and at the preliminary hearing, among other pretrial proceedings) of the of the right to counsel throughout the proceedings, and has waived that right under circumstances that demonstrate an intention to represent oneself both at the preliminary hearing and at trial, the failure of the court to readvise and obtain a new waiver of the right to counsel at arraignment on the information does not require automatic reversal of the later conviction. The requirement of advisement of the right to counsel and obtaining of…

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Name: U.S. v. Elder
Case #: 00-10143
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/07/2002
Subsequent History: None

Defendant was not deprived of due process of law when the court ordered lead defense counsel removed from the courtroom. The record showed a persisent pattern of surly, disruptive and contemptuous behavior by a defense counsel with a history of antagonizing judges. Further, the court security personnel , not the court, made the decision to handcuff counsel. The court called a recess for an hour, after which counsel returned and apologized for arguing with the court. The court instructed the jury to not consider the incident in their deliberations.…

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