Do your own work. People v. Hunter, 9/11/17

Do your own work. People v. Hunter, 9/11/17

In criminal law in California, Defendant’s can request discovery from the prosecution under California Penal Code 1054. However, what if there are co-defendants…and one D wants discovery from the co’D? Does 1054 require this disclosure? The quick answer: probably not. So you need to do your own work to investigate (legally speaking). This 9/11/17 decision People v. Hunter from the Court of Appeals of California, Fourth...

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More prosecutor misconduct in closing arguments: People v. Cowan

More prosecutor misconduct in closing arguments: People v. Cowan

Ah, Prosecutor misconduct: This February 23, 2017 decision People v. Cowan (8 Cal. App. 5th 1152; Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Six) deals with what Prosecutors can and cannot say in closing arguments.  It’s also a furtherance of the Cal Supreme decision People v. Centeno (2014) 60 Cal.4th 659 (Cowan was sent back to this Court to make its decision in accordance with Centeno). So first, in Centeno there were two main...

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Again: implied consent is NOT actual consent. People v. Mason

Again: implied consent is NOT actual consent. People v. Mason

Over the past years, we’ve seen drastic changes on whether a warrantless blood draw on a DUI arrest is lawful.  This issue has swept through both the US Supreme Courts (with McNeely (2013) 133 S.Ct. 1552 and Birchfield (2016) 136 S.Ct. 2160), as well as the California Courts. The most recent California case is People v. Arredondo (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 186, which the Cal Supremes took up in June 2016.  We’re still waiting on their...

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DUI, and someone else was driving? Can an investigator testify to the real driver’s statements?

DUI, and someone else was driving? Can an investigator testify to the real driver’s statements?

What happens when you’re arrested for DUI, and someone else was driving?  Or…let me take it a level deeper: what happens when you’re arrested for DUI, and the Police say you admitted to driving, that others said you were driving, but then later recanted and are trying to say you did NOT drive–that someone else drove?  When and how can that come into play? This March 30, 2017 California Court of Appeals decision People v....

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Can a Judge interact with jury deliberations?

Can a Judge interact with jury deliberations?

How much can a Judge interact with Jurors while they deliberate?  If the Jurors have questions or cannot reach a verdict, can the Judge answer questions?  If so, to what extent?  This August 15, 2016 Cal Supreme Court decision People v. Nelson gives some guidance (and why I used the picture of Conte intercepting a pass). The facts of Nelson: While this can happen in any San Diego DUI or criminal trial, Nelson  is a murder case where the Jurors...

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Further explanation re Hearsay with the Sanchez ruling

Further explanation re Hearsay with the Sanchez ruling

Back on June 30, 2016, the California Supreme Court decided People v. Sanchez (63 Cal.4th 665), and it made many lawyers stop and think about how to bring evidence into a trial or at a hearing. My article in the North County Bar Association monthly magazine explained this, in case you caught it when it was hot off the shelves. The rule from Sanchez regards hearsay. Let’s discuss: First, we know generally that experts can rely on hearsay...

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