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Articles Posted in General Criminal Defense

In re Jeremiah S. (Cal. Ct. App., Oct. 18, 2019, No. A155856) 2019 WL 5302782, at *1–7

 The robbery, detention, pat search and arrest arrest of Jeremiah S.

On July 2, 2018, Ornin Gosuwin was carrying a shoulder bag and holding an iPhone as she walked on Spear Street toward Market Street in San Francisco. Two young men, both wearing hoodies, came from around the corner. Gosuwin stopped to let the young men pass. One of them pushed her left shoulder and caused her to fall to the ground and both stood over her and pulled her bag and phone away. The assailants continued on Market Street in the direction of the Embarcadero.

People v. Sanchez, 2019 WL 5304531 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.) (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2019)

Summary:

Angel Sanchez (Sanchez) was charged by re-filed complaint with robbery, assault with a deadly weapon on a transit passenger, and receiving stolen property. The  magistrate granted Sanchez’s  motion to dismiss the complaint for prosecutorial vindictiveness,  The Superior Court, San Francisco County, No. MCN17010380, Garrett L. Wong, J., denied reinstatement of complaint. The People appealed.

Dickerson v. Superior Court of Alameda Cty., 40 Cal. App. 5th Supp. 1, 252 Cal. Rptr. 3d 871, 874–82 (Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct. 2019)

Petitioners contend that delays in charging each of them resulted in a deprivation of due process rights under the California Constitution. In both cases, the trial court found that Petitioners suffered prejudice due to the prosecution’s delays in charging them. The trial court then erred in failing to require competent evidence justifying the delay by the prosecution.

People v. Buggs-Ten Month delay in filing of complaint

Felony Murder Rule Changed by SB 1437

Senate Bill No. 1437 revised the felony murder rule in California.  Under the felony murder rule, someone who aided and abetted an underlying felony was strictly liable for murder if a co-participant killed someone during the commission of the felony (People v. Cavitt (2004) 33Cal 4th, 187, 197.) SB 1437 amended Penal Code section 189, subdivision (e) effective January 1, 2019.  Now a participant in an enumerated felony in which a death occurs is liable for murder only if one of the following is proven:

  • The person is the actual killer.

People v. Force, No. G055482, 2019 WL 4071849 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2019)

Denial of Fair Trial

Appellant Steven Force, a sexually violent predator receiving treatment at a state mental hospital for pedophilia and exhibitionism challenged the trial court’s order denying his petition to be placed in a conditional release program known as CONREP that  includes daily monitoring with GPS technology, drug testing, polygraph assessments, weekly treatment, and job and housing assistance. The Court of Appeal ruled that he was denied a fair trial because the prosecutor interfered with his right to testify, and the trial court erroneously refused to admit his release plan into evidence.

(People v. Flores (Aug. 12, 2019, No. G055861) ___Cal.App.5th___ [2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 740, at *1].)

Gang Investigation Leads to Detention

A team of Huntington Beach police officers investigating the “Looney Tunes Crew,” also known as the “LTK” street gang, saw the defendant in an area where they knew criminal activity took place. Defendant was walking briskly and was not a suspect in a particular crime nor in the process of committing a crime.

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.

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

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