Prosecutor threatening Defendant with perjury for testifying…is that improper?

Prosecutor threatening Defendant with perjury for testifying…is that improper?

This 8/29/19 decision People v. Force* is another reminder of how important the Prosecutor’s job is to put on a fair trial. In fact, before getting to any of the facts and legal analysis, the authoring Judge (who is also presiding) opens with the “one absolute requirement” in a criminal trial: “the accused must receive a fair trial.” “It’s not about convictions, it’s not about courtroom mastery,...

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More case law whether Mental Health Diversion is retroactive: People v. Burns

More case law whether Mental Health Diversion is retroactive: People v. Burns

I’ve been tracking our new Mental Health Diversion law, per California Penal Code 1001.36…and whether this new law applies retroactively or not. Well, we have another case in favor of the law applying retroactively: People v. Burns, filed August 14, 2019 (as of August 26, 2019, it’s cited as 2019 WL 3811976). We have another case in favor of the law applying retroactively: People v. Burns, filed August 14, 2019 (2019 WL...

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Does a warrantless blood draw on an unconscious DUI suspect violate the 4th Amendment? Mitchell v. Wisconsin

Does a warrantless blood draw on an unconscious DUI suspect violate the 4th Amendment? Mitchell v. Wisconsin

Does a warrantless blood draw on an unconscious DUI suspect violate the 4th Amendment? We’ve been waiting on the answer to this question since 2016 with People v. Arredondo, which the Cal Supremes have been holding onto. Well, the US Supremes made the decision on their June 27, 2019 decision Mitchell v. Wisconsin (139 S. Ct 2525). And the answer is no, most likely drawing blood from an unconscious DUI suspect does not violate the 4th Amendment...

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I blindly initialed and signed my change of plea form…can I withdraw my guilty plea? People v. Novoa

I blindly initialed and signed my change of plea form…can I withdraw my guilty plea? People v. Novoa

How must an attorney advise a criminal Defendant about immigration? Or specifically in this case People v. Novoa* from 4/22/19, if a Defense Attorney just crossed out certain parts of a change of plea form and has no records of actually advising a Defendant about immigration consequences of the plea, is that ineffective assistance of counsel? Such that would allow the Defendant to withdraw his guilty plea? The facts in Novoa: Defendant pled...

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Are the Prosecutor’s jury selection notes discoverable? People v. Superior Court (Jones)

Are the Prosecutor’s jury selection notes discoverable? People v. Superior Court (Jones)

The facts of Jones: During jury selection, the People used peremptory challenges to excuse 3 jurors who are African American. Defense made a Batson/Wheeler challenge that the Prosecutor was improperly striking jurors based on race. When a party makes a Batson/Wheeler challenge, the Court must step through this framework: Did the defendant must make out a prima facie case that there is an inference of a discriminatory purpose from the...

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Is a police officer approaching a car parked lawfully a detention? People v. Kidd

Is a police officer approaching a car parked lawfully a detention? People v. Kidd

Well, it depends on the facts…but People v. Kidd gives more guidance (from the Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division Two, certified for publication on June 12, 2019, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 527). Let’s start with the law about whether police coming up to you is a detention: “As long as a reasonable person would feel free to disregard the police and go about his or her business, the encounter is consensual and no reasonable...

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