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San Francisco Traffic Law Clinic
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Since 1985 San Francisco Traffic Law Clinic

United States v. Haymond (2019) ___U.S.___ [139 S.Ct. 2369], 2019 U.S. LEXIS 4398; No. 17-1672


Supreme Court of the United States,, Decided June 26, 2019. 

Imposition of a new and higher mandatory prison term for a parole violation requires jury trial

People v. Montalvo, 2019 WL 2537611 (Cal.App. 3 Dist.), 1 (Cal.App. 3 Dist., 2019)

Did a man a woman posing as undercover police officers who took property from their victims commit a robbery?

The California Court of Appeal examined this issue in a case where a defendant and a female associate, posing as undercover police officers committed two robberies. They took money from a couple at a hotel and in another instance, under the ruse of conducting a prostitution sting operation they stole money from their victim. Defendant was arrested in a hotel room where police recovered rock cocaine and a glass smoking pipe.

Flowers v. Mississippi, Supreme Court of the United States, 2019 WL 25524892019 WL 2552489,June 21, 2019

Defendant, (Flowers) who is black, was indicted for the murder of four employees of a Mississippi furniture store, three of whom were white. Flowers was tried six separate times for the murders and was convicted on one of those counts and sentenced to death. Flowers appealed.

The Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh, held that trial court clearly erred in concluding that the State’s peremptory strike of black prospective juror was not motivated in substantial part by discriminatory intent, in violation of Batson.

Everyone knows that certain offenses can result in your accumulating points on your California driver’s license, and everyone should know that those points are a serious matter as too many points in too short a span of time can result in the loss of your driving privileges. Most people know generally what kind of infractions result in points – things like speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, hit-and-run, and having an accident where you’re at fault, to name a few.

However, it is possible to be completely sober, driving under the speed limit and be involved in no accident and still incur a ticket that results in points. How? One way it happens is when you’re ticketed for improper child safety restraint. As with any charge where points are on the line, always be sure to consult an experienced San Francisco DMV defense attorney to discuss the legal options available to you.

California Vehicle Code Section 27360 is the law that requires drivers to secure certain child passengers in a specific way. The law applies to all children under the age of 8 years old. For kids age 2 through 7, they must be in a proper car seat or booster in the vehicle’s back seat, unless they are more than 4’9” tall. For children under 2, they must be in a rear-facing car seat in the vehicle back seat. That rule also applies to older kids who are under 40 inches tall and under 40 pounds.

Police need a warrant to search a cellphone, but the issue of whether law enforcement can compel someone to divulge a passcode has not been resolved. According to Apple News the Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments on the issue and the state supreme courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey may soon address the issue.

[https://apple.news/A8OwSxUtASey41s7HmTm8HQa] Police are increasingly relying on social media as a way to investigate suspects. Access to an accused’s cell phone can often provide incriminating evidence that is difficult to refute. So police argue that obtaining a cell phone’s passcode is essential for police work.

Passcodes necessary for Police Work

Youth  are generally viewed as having less culpability under criminal law than adults who commit similar crimes. The mitigating factors of a defendant’s youth can be used to argue for a court to exercise its discretion to strike enhancements. For example,  under section 12022.5, subdivision (c) a court may  dismiss or strike the sentence enhancement imposed for personal use of a firearm during commission of a felony.

History of Youth Offender Hearings

Senate Bill 260 took effect on January 1, 2014. The law created a special youth offender parole hearing for inmates who committed their controlling offense before reaching age 18. The intent of the law was to “establish a parole eligibility mechanism that provides a person serving a sentence for crimes that he or she committed as a juvenile the opportunity to obtain release when he or she has shown that he or she has been rehabilitated and gained maturity.” It was also intended to “create a process by which growth and maturity of youthful offenders can be assessed and a meaningful opportunity for release established.”

Definition of Prima Facie

Prima Facie is Latin for “at first sight” and means based on what seems to be the truth when first seen or heard. Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.” An example of this would be to use the term “prima facie evidence.”

It may also be used as an adverb meaning “on first appearance but subject to further evidence or information.” An example of this would be to use the term “prima facie valid.”

Trial Court may impose additional release conditions even after a defendant has posted bail

In re Webb, 2019 WL 2220410, S247074,May 23, 2019

Bettie Webb was arrested and charged with two felony counts of bringing controlled substances in to state prion and unauthorized possession of a controlled substance in a prison. She posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody. At arraignment, she pleaded not guilty to the charges. Over her objection, the court imposed, as an additional condition of release, that she waive her Fourth Amendment right to be free of warrantless or unreasonable searches.

Everyone agrees that driving while distracted is a bad thing. What everyone does not agree on, however, is how best to go about encouraging drivers to put down their cell phones while behind the wheel. Currently, the California legislature is considering a bill that would increase the penalties associated with texting or otherwise using a phone while driving. As California lawmakers explore upping these penalties, it is important to keep in mind just how damaging these infractions can be for you financially. If you find yourself needing to challenge this kind of violation, be sure you have skillful San Francisco traffic ticket and DMV defense counsel on your side.

CBS Sacramento reported that, on May 16, a legislative committee passed Assembly Bill 47. As originally written, the bill would have tacked a point onto the license of any driver ticketed for texting or holding a phone while driving. The bill, however, has already undergone some changes. As currently amended, the bill says that you get a point on your license if your cell phone violation is your second within a 36-month period.

Of course, the option of traffic school may exist for you. If you are eligible for traffic school, then you can use that process to avoid having that point tacked onto your license. For those eligible, this means that you would not have a point added to your license unless you rack up at least three texting-while-driving violations in that 36-month window.