Eleven Common Criminal Law Motions to Consider Early

Occasionally, a person will call our office and demand to know what motions we plan to file if we represent the caller.  Our answer depends upon the case facts and the client’s criminal history, but there are certain motions that are filed more often than others, as there are certain issues that arise across many types of offenses.  The following link is to a short article listing eleven of the more common motions we have filed in the past for clients that are good to review to ensure one is considering the common issues.


Be Very Careful What You Say Over the Phone from Jail!

It is common for those in custody to feel powerless and removed from their families and friends.  This is the nature of being in custody.  However, some people try to overcome that feeling by using the phone to intimidate witnesses, direct gang activity and brag about what they did, assuming no one will ever find out.  This is a reckless thing to do, as the following case summary exemplifies.  To read this summary, click on the following link.


Penal Code § 1385 – What Is Required? The Limits?

When can a judge exercise his authority to dismiss a case “in the furtherance of justice?”  Can he or she just do it when the merits of a case appear lacking?  Must he or she only act upon the request of a prosecutor?  Can the judge just do it on his or her own accord?  To read more about this power and when it can be used, click on the following link.


Can a Defendant Choose the Judge for a Marsden Hearing?

The reader of this blog may smirk when reading the question posed in the title above.  One judge may become the perceived sympathetic judge to anyone claiming his or her rights under Marsden.  So can one specify a certain judge to hear this motion? The answer is not quite as simple as one might expect.  Click on the following link to find out.


Can I Get a Copy of My File from the Court and If So, How?

Many folks call our office and ask us to go to the local courthouse to get them a copy of their court file.  Is it that easy?  What about the identify of underage victims in a child molestation case?  What if the case is up on appeal?  What if it is a federal case?  In other words, are their exceptions to just writing a big check and being handed a stack of photocopied material?  Click on the following link to find out.


I Served 16 Months, Got Prop 47 Relief, Now Can I Expunge?

Proposition 47 has created a myriad of interesting situations its authors probably never foresaw.  For example, if someone gets a felony reduced to a misdemeanor, but only after serving a sixteen-month sentence, is that conviction eligible for expungement under Penal Code § 1203.4?  After all, it is a misdemeanor and the sixteen-month sentence really should be twelve months or less now?  To read the answer to this interesting scenario, click on the following link.


Reversal for Inaccurate Description of Reasonable Doubt?

If a prosecutor misstates the legal definition of reasonable doubt, does that matter if defendant committed a heinous, despicable crime?  Does it matter if the evidence is overwhelming?  It does, even in such cases.  To read about a case wherein the prosecutor did this and the appellate court reviewed this, click on the following link.