Skip to content
Name: Wolf v. Superior Court (San Bernardino)
Case #: E071318
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/13/2019

Defendant who was represented by appointed counsel in the trial court when she moved to withdraw her plea and was subject to incarceration for one day was entitled to appointed counsel in the appellate division of the superior court. Wolf pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense. She was not represented by counsel at the time of the plea. The court placed her on summary probation, ordered her to serve one day in jail in lieu of paying fines, and imposed a criminal protective order. Two weeks later, she moved to withdraw her plea. The public defender's office was…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Julian
Case #: B289613
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/29/2019

Inadmissible statistical evidence went beyond the permissible scope of CSAAS evidence. At Julian's trial for various charges of child molestation, prosecution witness Anthony Urquiza, a clinical psychologist, testified about the child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS) theory and statistical data suggesting that false allegations of sexual abuse by children are very infrequent or rare. Julian's trial counsel did not object to this testimony. Julian was convicted as charged, and he appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded for new trial. It is improper for an expert providing CSAAS testimony to present "predictive conclusions," such as alleged child abuse victims "should be believed"…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Franks
Case #: C085073
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/30/2019

In order for a Sixth Amendment violation to lie under McCoy v. Louisiana (2018) 584 U.S. _ [200 L.Ed.2d 821], a defendant must make his intention to maintain his innocence as a defense strategy clear to counsel. Defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing his girlfriend. Prior to trial, defendant attempted to have defense counsel replaced, and refused to speak with counsel about the case. During closing argument, counsel conceded that defendant was with the victim when she was injured and was at the victim's house shortly before family members found her body. Counsel argued the…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Flores
Case #: D073215
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/12/2019

Attempted murder conviction reversed where defendant's attorney offered a lack-of-premeditation defense despite his client's express wish to claim his innocence. After his release from jail on weapons charges, Flores drove his car into a police officer, gravely injuring him. At Marsden hearings before trial, Flores repeatedly stated that trial counsel was "trying to make me admit to something that I don't want to admit." A jury found Flores guilty of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer and found a number of enhancements true. On appeal, Flores argued it was structural error for his…

View Full Summary
Name: Gardner v. Appellate Division of Superior Court
Case #: S246214
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/28/2019

An indigent defendant respondent in a pretrial prosecution appeal is entitled to appointment of counsel. The trial court granted defendant's motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) in a misdemeanor case, and dismissed the underlying complaint. The People appealed to the appellate division of the trial court. The public defender asked the appellate division to appoint new counsel to represent defendant for the appeal. The appellate division concluded that a defendant respondent is not entitled to appointment of appellate counsel. The public defender filed a petition for writ of mandate in the appellate division asking the court to direct…

View Full Summary
Name: In re Hernandez
Case #: G054623
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/26/2019

Habeas petitioner established she was prejudiced by counsel's ineffective assistance where he failed to advise her that her guilty plea would result in mandatory deportation and there was evidence she would not have entered the plea if properly advised. On advice of her attorney, Hernandez pleaded guilty to possession of meth for sale based on evidence that meth was found in the car she was driving, which was owned by one of the passengers. After serving some jail time, Hernandez was taken into federal custody for deportation because her offense was an "aggravated felony" under federal law. In her petition…

View Full Summary
Name: Garza v. Idaho
Case #: 17-1026
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 02/27/2019

The presumption of prejudice recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega when trial counsel fails to file a notice of appeal when instructed applies regardless of whether the defendant has signed an appeal waiver. Garza signed two plea agreements, each containing a clause stating that he waived his right to appeal. Shortly after sentencing, Garza told his attorney that he wished to appeal. Instead of filing the notice of appeal, the attorney informed Garza that an appeal would be "problematic" given his appeal waiver. After the period of time for Garza to preserve an appeal lapsed, he sought state postconviction relief alleging…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Bonilla
Case #: C082144
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/29/2018

Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to defend against vandalism charges by asserting the victim's violation of a civil statute because a person may not commit a crime in response to the breach of a civil statute. The three defendants were convicted of felony vandalism. The case arose out of a confrontation between the defendants and a repossession agent who was in the process of taking a car. On appeal, defendants raised a number of issues, primarily based on ineffective assistance of trial counsel (IAC). Held: Affirmed. A defendant asserting IAC must show that counsel's representation fell below an…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Lavoie
Case #: E068328
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/03/2018

After jury was discharged and defendant waived his right to a jury trial on his priors, trial court erred by allowing the prosecution to substantially amend the information to change the date, place, and the offense alleged as a strike prior. A jury convicted Lavoie of a number of felony offenses and was discharged. After waiving his right to a jury trial on his prior convictions, Lavoie admitted two strike priors, two prior serious felony enhancements, and two prison priors. While Lavoie was admitting the priors, the trial court permitted the prosecution to amend the alleged prior convictions. The first…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Acosta
Case #: H045175
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/25/2018

Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to request a hearing on defendant's ability to pay sexual offender fines; however, trial courts are encouraged to independently inquire about defendant's ability to pay. Acosta was convicted of committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child under age 14 (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)) and contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense (Pen. Code, § 288.3, subd. (a)). At sentencing, the court imposed two fines pursuant to Penal Code section 290.3 without making any findings about Acosta's ability to pay the fines. Counsel did not ask…

View Full Summary