Can you plead guilty, THEN appeal on grounds of unconstitutionality?

Can you plead guilty, THEN appeal on grounds of unconstitutionality?

The US Supreme Court just laid out this issue: Does a guilty plea by itself bar a federal criminal defendant from challenging the constitutionality of the statute of conviction on direct appeal? Restated: if you plead guilty to doing “it”… but “it” was not illegal…can you appeal and challenge the prosecution as being unconstitional? The US Supremes say even if you plead guilty, you can still appeal a conviction on the challenge of...

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Can a car passenger claim privacy regarding the searched car?

Can a car passenger claim privacy regarding the searched car?

Can a car passenger claim privacy regarding the searched car? From Brewer v. Superior Court, Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division Four, filed 11/6/17, 16 Cal App 5th 1019: It’s a new issue, and the answer is yes, a passenger can claim privacy even if he’s just the passenger of a vehicle. The issue as the Court states it: may a defendant “move to suppress evidence as the fruit of an unlawful detention even if the defendant...

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Weed is legal in California…but driving impaired still isn’t.

Weed is legal in California…but driving impaired still isn’t.

Weed is legal in California…but driving impaired still isn’t. I should add a “no duh” at the end of that sentence. But seriously, as of January 1, 2018 with Assembly Bill 64 (Prop 64) going through, adults in California can buy marijuana for recreational purposes…and with that, here are some thoughts as they relate to driving while or after smoking marijuana in California. Note, for the law uses cannabis and...

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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, Defendants 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 District,...

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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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