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Name: People v. Cruz-Lopez
Case #: A152348
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/21/2018

A defendant who is on probation is still in constructive custody and may not move to vacate a guilty plea pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7. In January 2014, defendant entered pleas in several cases, including a guilty plea to assault with a deadly weapon. During the plea proceedings, defendant was advised his pleas may result in deportation or exclusion from admission to the United States. Imposition of sentence was suspended and he was granted probation. Probation was revoked after he committed a new criminal offense. The trial court imposed a three-year sentence, execution suspended, and reinstated probation. In March…

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Name: People v. Torres
Case #: D072610
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/12/2018

Trial counsel's failure to seek suppression of defendant's un-Mirandized statements to police constituted prejudicial ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC), mandating reversal of defendant's conviction. A jury convicted Torres of committing lewd acts on a minor (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)) and found true that he engaged in substantial sexual conduct (Pen. Code, § 1203.066, subd. (a)(8)). On appeal Torres argued the failure of his trial attorney to file a motion to suppress his un-Mirandized statements to police constituted prejudicial IAC. Held: Reversed. To establish a claim of IAC a defendant must show that his attorney's performance fell below a…

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Name: People v. Yates
Case #: B279863
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/23/2018

Under People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, an expert may not relate as true the case-specific contents of documents that were neither admitted into evidence nor shown to fall within a hearsay exception. A jury found Yates to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600, et seq.). On appeal, he argued the trial court admitted prejudicial hearsay evidence used to support the prosecution experts' opinions. Held: Reversed. An alleged SVP is entitled to a jury trial where the prosecution is required to establish (1) that defendant has been convicted of a qualifying sexually violent…

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Name: Ellis v. Harrison
Case #: 16-56188
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/07/2018

Where habeas petitioner did not know about trial counsel's racist beliefs until after his case was final, his ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim failed because he did not show the racism adversely affected the attorney's performance. Ellis and a codefendant were charged with a 1989 murder, attempted murder, and robbery of two men at a McDonald's drive-through window. Two trials ended in mistrials and two trials in hung juries. Ellis' fifth trial resulted in a special circumstance murder conviction. His case became final in 1996. Years later, Ellis sought habeas relief, arguing that he received constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel because his trial…

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Name: McCoy v. Louisiana
Case #: 16-8255
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 05/14/2018
Subsequent History: 138 S.Ct. 1500

Trial counsel's admission that defendant killed three people, in an effort to avoid the death penalty, mandates reversal of defendant's convictions because he was denied the right to choose the objective of his defense in violation of the Sixth Amendment. Defendant was charged with killing three family members. He entered a not guilty plea, offering an alibi defense. Over defendant's objection, his trial attorney admitted defendant committed the killings, as best suited to avoid the death penalty. Defendant was convicted of three first degree murders and sentenced to death. His convictions were affirmed in the state court. The U.S. Supreme…

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Name: People v. Ogunmowo
Case #: B283427
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/09/2018

Trial court erred by denying defendant's motion to vacate his 1989 drug conviction where his trial attorney's advice regarding the immigration consequences of a plea was erroneous. Defendant moved to vacate his 1989 guilty plea to possession of drugs for sale based on his trial attorney's erroneous advice regarding the immigration consequences of the plea. His trial attorney signed a declaration stating that he had advised defendant, a lawful permanent resident, that his plea would not have adverse immigration consequences. In taking the plea, the trial court told defendant about possible immigration consequences. The federal government instituted deportation proceedings against…

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: A148539
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/11/2018

Trial court abused its discretion by denying defendant's request to discharge his retained counsel as untimely, which denied his right to counsel of choice and automatically requires reversal. Lopez was charged with several sex offenses against two minors and was represented by retained counsel. At a trial readiness conference, Lopez requested that he be allowed to discharge his retained attorney and either retain new counsel or have one appointed for him. The trial court denied the motion as untimely, because trial was ready to start either that same day or the next judicial day. Lopez then pleaded no…

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Name: People v. Landaverde
Case #: B282107
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 02/07/2018

Penal Code section 1473.7, effective January 1, 2017, provided a new avenue of relief for out-of-custody defendant to move to vacate his 1998 guilty plea based on inadequate advisement of possible immigration consequences. Landaverde, a noncitizen, entered the United States in 1989. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act with a child under the age of 14. (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a).) He was granted probation and ordered to serve six days in jail (time served) and community service. In 2007, federal removal proceedings were initiated based on the conviction. In…

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Name: People v. Lucero
Case #: E067000
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/14/2017

Where relief was granted in an earlier appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, the trial court on remand was not required to appoint a different attorney because defendant did not request one. Lucero failed to appear for part of his criminal trial and a jury convicted him of felony offenses in his absence. Trial counsel filed a motion for a new trial on the ground that defendant had been unable to appear for legitimate medical reasons. However, counsel conceded that the motion was untimely and the trial court did not read it. In his first appeal, Lucero's judgment…

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Name: People v. Young
Case #: C077483
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/17/2017

Trial court abused its discretion by removing juror who was 15 minutes late without making a reasonable inquiry to determine whether the juror was able to perform the duties of a juror. Young was charged with sexual abuse of his two daughters and a neighbor. On the day the prosecution was set to begin the presentation of its case, Young's attorney, Barton, was sick and stand-in counsel appeared instead to request a continuance. After discussing scheduling outside the presence of the jury, the trial court explained the jury would be brought in and informed that there would be no…

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