Articles Posted in Uncategorized

People v. Lee, No. D073740, 2019 WL 4871480, at *3–10 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2019)

Vehicle stop and warrantless search of the vehicle

In 2017 San Diego Police Officers Robles and Cooper stopped a gold-colored Cadillac DeVille with no front license plate and tinted windows in violation of Vehicle Code section 26708. They initiated a traffic stop and Officer Robles asked the driver, defendant Brandon Lee, for his driver’s license. Lee said he did not have his license with him. Robles instructed Lee to step out of the vehicle and performed a pat-down search to confirm he did not have any sort of identification.

People v. Bay, 2019 WL 4564854 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.), 1 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2019)

The Stop and Search

A Napa County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol at 2:00 a.m. on September 9, 2017, when he noticed a Cadillac SUV parked illegally near a popular overlook. The deputy approached and saw three people in the vehicle, including Bay, in the driver’s seat. When asked what they were doing, Bay said “they were just sitting there looking at the view and asked … if they were doing something wrong.” The deputy cited a no-parking sign and asked Bay for identification. Bey had none and provided a false name. Knowing that Bay was on post-release community supervision (PRCS) and subject to a warrantless search, the deputy asked him to get out of the vehicle.

People v. Millan Rodriguez, 2019 WL 3852665 (Cal.App. 4 Dist.)

Vacating a conviction because of inability to understand immigration consequences (Penal Code Section 1473.7)

On January 1, 2017, Penal Code section 1473.7 went into effect. It allows a defendant to challenge a conviction based on a guilty plea where prejudicial error affected the defendant’s ability to understand the immigration consequences of the plea.

Marinelarena v. Barr, 2019 WL 3227458; (9th Cir. July 18, 2019)

Immigrants with drug convictions are eligible for immigration relief when the record of conviction is vague as to the type of controlled substance.

Conviction for conspiracy to sell and transport a controlled substance

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

Californians with criminal records face obstacles and barriers to employment. For example, Uber has announced more intense screening of its drivers, including background checks every two years and checks on new criminal and DUI charges. But recent laws limit how employers may use an applicant’s criminal history and open licensed professions to those with criminal records.

California Criminal Background Check Reform

The Fair Chance Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, is a “Ban the Box” law that prohibits employers from:

Senate Bill 1437 takes effect January 1, 2019 and will limit first-degree felony-murder for any aider-abettor who is not the actual killer. Under this new law, a defendant must be the actual killer, act with intent to kill, or be a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life to be convicted of murder.

Eligibilty for Senate Bill 1437 Resentencing

• Certain accomplices to the underlying felony who were convicted of first degree felony murder.

A police officer with adequate training and experience in performing the horizontal gaze nystagmus test

(HGN) may testify as to the significance of a defendant’s performance on an HGN test, according to a recent California Court of Appeal decision. Although HGN testing alone cannot determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol (nor determine a blood alcohol level), the HGN test is part of an officer’s total observations of a suspect. The horizontal gaze nystagmus is one basis for an officer’s opinion concerning intoxication.

A police officer can use findings from horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) testing as a basis for an opinion that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol. The prosecution is not required to submit expert testimony to confirm the officer’s evaluation of the HGN test.