THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. MATTHEW TIMOTHY O’DAY, Defendant and Appellant. (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 18, 2022, No.A162303) 2022 WL 17073545, at *1
Summary: O’Day with murder and assault with a deadly weapon but the charges were dismissed at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing. More than 12 years later, O’Day petitioned for a finding of factual innocence. (Pen. Code, § 851.8.) The trial court denied the petition both because it was untimely without good cause and O’Day failed to satisfy his stringent burden of establishing his factual innocence. The Court of Appeal affirm concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining the petition was untimely and unsupported by a showing of good cause.
Facts: in 2020, O’Day petitioned for a finding of factual innocence more than 12 years after charges weee dismissed. He acknowledged the petition was filed after the expiration of the two-year deadline in section 851.8. But he argued there was good cause for the delay because he was unaware, until 2018, he could seek relief. O’Day explained in a supporting declaration that upon his release from custody, his privately retained attorney said the prosecution could refile the charges as “there was no statute of limitations for the crime of murder.” He advised O’Day to stay in California and notify him if he planned to leave the state. O’Day and counsel also discussed what could be done about his arrest record; counsel said O’Day’s employers could not “discriminate” against him because of the arrest, but counsel did not mention a petition for factual innocence. Had O’Day known of that remedy, he would have asked counsel to file a petition “immediately.”