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Name: People v. Jones (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 1344
Case #: A163558
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/04/2023

Jury’s verdict in the second part of a bifurcated trial was a nullity where the trial court had discharged and lost control of the jury after the first part of the trial. Following the reading of the verdicts in a bifurcated trial, the trial court discharged the jury and “expressly released the jurors from their obligation not to discuss the case with anyone else” and excused them from jury duty. The prosecutor informed the court that the matter of the prior serious felony conviction remained to be tried, and the trial court asked the bailiff to call the jurors back…

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Name: People v. Profitt
Case #: A147278
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 02/27/2017

Trial court properly refused to bifurcate felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) from misdemeanor charge of driving with a license suspended for prior DUI convictions. Profitt was charged with felony DUI (Veh. Code, § 23152, subds. (a) & (b)) and three misdemeanor counts related to driving on a license suspended/revoked for prior misdemeanor DUI convictions (Veh. Code, §§ 14601.2, subd. (a), 14601.5, subd. (a), 13353.2). The prior DUI misdemeanors were also charged as sentencing enhancements. At Profitt's request, the trial court bifurcated trial on the three DUI priors, but refused to bifurcate trial on the misdemeanors,…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: D065101
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/22/2016

Trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to bifurcate trial of a gang enhancement (Pen. Code, § 186.22, subd. (b)(1)) from underlying robbery and assault with a deadly weapon charges. Garcia, Mendoza, and Guzman were charged jointly with multiple offenses arising from a series of robberies in Escondido and a gang enhancement was also alleged. Prior to trial, Mendoza and Guzman moved to bifurcate trial of the gang enhancement. The trial court denied the motion. The jury convicted the defendants and found the gang enhancement true. They appealed. Held: Affirmed. In order to prevail on a motion to…

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Name: In re Richardson
Case #: C062684
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/13/2011
Subsequent History: Modified opn.; rehrg. denied

A Court of Appeal opinion is admissible to prove prior serious felony. In 2004 petitioner was convicted of a felony. He had a jury trial on his two strike priors, one of which was a 1992 conviction for evading the police, causing injury. (Veh. Code, §2800.3.) His conviction was affirmed. Later, petitioner sought habeas relief alleging ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel for not protecting his rights with respect to proof of the section 2800.3 prior. Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to assert petitioner's right to jury trial on whether he personally inflicted serious bodily injury and…

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Name: People v. Vang
Case #: D054636
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/07/2010
Subsequent History: Rev. granted (S184212)

Hypothetical questions of an expert on the accused's intent and knowledge in committing the underlying assault exceeded the bounds of discretion and resulted in mere speculation on ultimate issues to be decided by the jury. Rules usually allow hypothetical questions of experts on ultimate issues. However, expert testimony on knowledge and intent, based on thinly veiled hypothetical questions, amounts to no more than an expression by the expert as to how the case should be decided. (Accord People v. Killebrew (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 644, 647, 651.) The questions in this case placed the trial testimony in the context of changing…

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Name: People v. Gordon
Case #: B209075
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/02/2009

Under principles of collateral estoppel, acquittal of defendant by the jury bars a subsequent trial on any issue of ultimate fact determined by the jury verdict. Appellant was charged with felony murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and felon in possession of a firearm. Prior to trial, the court granted the defense motion to bifurcate the felon in possession charge and appellant agreed that it could be heard by the trial court following the jury verdict. At trial, both parties argued identification and the jury returned verdicts of acquittal on the felony murder, attempted murder, and kidnapping charges. The trial court, trying…

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Name: People v. $10,153.38
Case #: B205875
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/29/2009

Proceeds of violations of controlled substance laws are subject to forfeiture but a forfeiture action must be tried by the same finder of fact that tried the criminal case. Appellant was arrested and charged with possession for sale of cocaine base and marijuana after police seized a large quantity of cocaine base, marijuana, and $10,153.38 from appellant’s hotel room. While pending trial on the criminal charges, appellant was served with notice of his right to oppose forfeiture proceedings and, in response, returned the completed claim. A forfeiture petition was then filed. Several months later in 2003, appellant…

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Name: People v. Kimbell
Case #: B202422
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 11/25/2008

After inadvertently discharging the jury, if the jury verdict is irregular or incomplete, the court retains jurisdiction to reconvene the jury if the jury has not yet left the court’s control. After the jury heard the underlying offenses and convicted appellant of all counts, the court thanked the jury and advised it that it was excused. Before the jury left the box, however, the prosecuting attorney reminded the court that the bifurcated priors had yet to be determined. The court determined that it had the power to reconvene the jury. But appellant, instead, of opting for a jury trial, waived…

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Name: People v. Jefferson
Case #: C053130
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/07/2007

There is no federal constitutional right to a jury trial on the issue of whether a prior conviction constitutes a serious felony under the California Three Strikes law (Pen. Code, secs. 667 & 1170.12). (People v. Kelii (1999) 21 Cal.4th 452; People v. McGee (2006) 38 Cal.4th 682.) Appellant was convicted of robbery by jury trial. At the subsequent court trial, the trial court found that a conviction in Illinois for attempted murder constituted a serious felony under the strikes law and doubled the penalty for the robbery. The appellate court found that because the determination of…

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Name: People v. Ruiloba
Case #: C046096
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/28/2005

A trial court need not bifurcate the trials on a substantive charge of child molestation and the procedural issue of whether the statute of limitations should be extended under Penal Code section 803. That section forbids the use of evidence not otherwise admissible at trial to provide the necessary corroboration for extending the statute of limitations, but this language does not require a separate trial on the issue of corroboration. A bifurcated proceeding would be duplicative and is not necessary to avoid prejudice to the defendant. Although the court here did not abuse its discretion in failing…

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