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Name: People v. Namphonh
Case #: C075331
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/11/2015

When considering whether a defendant possesses the ability to pay for a sex offense victim's medical examination (Pen. Code, § 1203.1h, subd. (b)), the trial court is not limited to considering the defendant's present financial situation. Namphonh was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child under age 14, his half-sister. (Pen. Code, § 288.5, subd. (a).) Among other fines and fees, the court ordered him to reimburse the Stockton Police Department for the victim's medical examination in the amount of $1,850 pursuant to section 1203.1h, subdivision (b). Namphonh appealed arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing…

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Name: People v. Lopez
Case #: H039896
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/01/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 7/15/2015: S227028

Third strike offender seeking resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act (Prop. 36; Pen. Code, § 1170.126) does not have the right to a jury trial on the issue of whether he poses an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety if resentenced. Lopez was sentenced to 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law for possession of methamphetamine for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11378). He filed a petition seeking resentencing under Proposition 36, but the trial court denied it after finding that Lopez would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. Lopez appealed on…

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Name: People v. Sledge
Case #: G048814
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/13/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 7/8/2015: S226449

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding a third strike inmate would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety if resentenced under the Three Strikes Reform Act (Pen. Code, § 1170.126; Prop. 36). In 1999, Sledge was sentenced to 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law (Pen. Code, §§ 667, 1170.12). He had been convicted of check forgery (Pen. Code, § 470, subd. (a)), possession of a fictitious instrument (Pen. Code, § 476), and second degree burglary (Pen. Code, §§ 459, 460, subd. (b)). After passage of the Reform Act, he petitioned for resentencing.…

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Name: People v. Venegas
Case #: B250678
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/11/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 12/10/2014: S221923

Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (g) does not restrict a trial court's discretion under section 1385, subdivision (a), to strike a section 186.22, subdivision (b)(4) gang allegation. Following a jury trial, Venegas was convicted of multiple offenses, including shooting at an inhabited dwelling (Pen. Code, § 246); an allegation that he did so for the benefit of a gang (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(4)(B)) was found true. Prior to trial, Venegas sought to enter an open plea to this count, in the "hope" that the trial court would strike the section 186.22, subdivision (b)(4)(B) allegation, which requires the court…

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Name: People v. Nichols
Case #: C057665
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/05/2009

Defendant who failed to register was properly sentenced under the Three Strikes law. Appellant was found guilty of failing to register under Penal Code section 290 when he moved out of Rocklin. The jury also found that he had been previously convicted of three prior "strikes" and served three prior prison terms. The trial court denied appellant's motion to strike his prior strikes, and sentenced him to a prison term of 28 years to life, consisting of 25 to life for the offense, plus three years for the prior prison term enhancements.) The appellate court held the trial court did…

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Name: People v. Ybarra et al.
Case #: F047855
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/12/2008

Penal Code section 868.5, entitling a prosecution witness to a support person during his or her testimony at trial, does not violate due process. In this murder and attempted murder case, the victims of the attempted murder charges, and the spouse of the murder victim, each had a support person close by and within the jury's sight during their testimony. Appellants argued this was a violation of due process. They likened the support person’s role to allowing spectators to wear buttons of victim, shackling a defendant, or making him wear prison garbs. The court found the analogy to these practices unpersuasive. Nothing about a support…

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Name: People v. Jacobs
Case #: A113633
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/31/2007

The test as to whether the trial court's denial of a continuance request is an abuse of discretion is not limited solely to situations where the action is whimsical, arbitrary, or capricious, but may also include actions not in conformity with the spirit of the law and, as such, defeats the ends of substantial justice. Following appellant's conviction at jury trial sentencing was scheduled before the trial judge with all parties, including the judge, expressing a preference that he hear the matter. On the scheduled date for sentencing, however, the trial judge was absent. Although both the…

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Name: People v. Stuart
Case #: A116520
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 10/18/2007

California Rules of Court, rule 4.413, which provides criteria allowing the trial court to make an unusual case finding overcoming the presumption against a grant of probation, is permissive rather than mandatory, and is reviewable under an abuse of discretion standard. Appellant pled guilty to the voluntary manslaughter of her elderly mother, a lesser included offense to the charge of murder, and admitted the Penal Code section 1203, subdivision (e)(3) (presumptive probation ineligibility) allegation. The trial court denied her probation and sentenced her to state prison for the middle term of six years but later reconsidered and imposed a…

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Name: In re Large
Case #: S127754
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/28/2007

Discretion implies, in some cases, that a legal decision may properly go either way. Appellant was convicted of shoplifting an $18 fanny pack from J.C. Penney's department store and then identifying himself as his brother. Two prior "strikes" and some prior prison term allegations were found to be true. At the pre-Romero sentencing hearing, the judge imposed the 25-year-to life sentence, while lamenting on the draconian nature of the Three Strikes scheme. While appellant's appeal was pending, Romero was decided. The Court of Appeal rejected appellant's claim that the judge did not realize that he had…

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Name: People v. Calhoun et al.
Case #: S129896
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/29/2007

In this case involving convictions for gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing bodily injury which stemmed from a drag racing incident resulting in death and/or injury to multiple victims, the Court, interpreted Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (c) which calls for a five-year enhancement for those convicted of specified crimes who flee the scene. The Court determined that the Legislature intended the enhancement to apply to all principals convicted of the underlying offense, aiders and abettors as well as direct perpetrators. The Court also found that it was not error to rely on the aggravating factor of…

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