As most attorneys will tell you with a groan or rolling their eyes into their head, an inventory search is often the most abused warrantless search by police. While there are legal standards police must follow to prevent such a search from turning into an overbroad, limitless search, no one really controls police during such a search. So it is hugely refreshing to see a judge find an inventory search was invalid and that evidence seized in the search is suppressed. To read this opinion, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/invalid-inventory-search-of-car-vacates-conviction.html
The following case out of Santa Barbara went all the way to the California Supreme Court, finding that Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol Officers were not police officers within the meaning of Penal Code § 242 when the battery is on a police officer. The issue was whether enforcement of the law was the primary duty of such harbor patrol officers, which the Supreme Court decided the District Attorney did not prove. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/reversal-of-conviction-for-battery-on-a-police-officer.html
When a potential client contacts us and asks about filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the person is usually referring to such a petition in state court. However, even if filing this in state court, it is important to discuss federal habeas claims, too. What are examples of such claims? Often a mere discussion of such claims triggers a recognition that this or that is indeed a proper claim – and in that hope the following article, really a listing, is presented. To read such examples, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/whatre-common-federal-claims-raised-in-habeas-corpus-writ.html
We have a steady stream of people calling us about petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Many are not clear how it differs from a request for clemency, or a petition for resentencing, or even a pardon. A petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in state court should assert certain claims that constitute violations of state law, but should also assert federal claims for relief that may later be asserted in federal court. For more information about a petition for a writ of habeas corpus that is valuable to know before filing, click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-a-state-court-petition-for-writ-of-habeas-corpus.html.
No is the answer to the rhetorical question posed in the title to this blog post, but why? To answer that, it is best that one understand the case of Jeremiah Charlie Brewer, who was sentenced to 25 years to life for a crime he committed while age 16 and in a case that was filed directly in adult criminal court. Brewer appealed the filing because after Prop 57 was passed, every criminal case against a juvenile had to be filed first in juvenile court and then be subject to a transfer hearing. The Fifth Appellate Court denied his appeal, reasoning that Prop 57 did not necessarily reduce punishment, so it was not retroactive. To read more about this case, click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/is-prop-57-retroactive-to-then-pending-juvenile-cases.html.
In the following case summary, the old adage “loose lips sinks ships” is exemplified in dramatic fashion. A woman took a plea to being an accessory after the fact to a murder allegedly committed by her boyfriend. Her sentence was just three years and eight months. She then went to prison and started bragging about her larger role in the murder, so she was then charged with murder and raised a double jeopardy defense. This defense failed. To read why, click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/double-jeopardy-murder-charge-after-plea-to-accessory.html
In 2016 in the case of People v. Sanchez, the California Supreme Court ended the routine practice of allowing an expert witness on criminal street gangs from testifying about what fellow police officers and other gang members, including a co-defendant, had said about gang activity that the expert then relied upon to opine whether defendant’s crime was to benefit, promote or further the interests of a criminal street gang. This reliance on hearsay, the court held, violated defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to cross-examine the fellow police officers and even a co-defendant about such alleged statements made to the gang expert in court. To read more about his important ruling, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/whys-people-v-sanchez-relevant-for-expert-testimony.html
A medical doctor from Rowland Heights was convicted in the Clara Shortridge Foltz criminal courthouse of three counts of second-degree murder for writing prescriptions for Xanax, Norco and Opana, an opiode commonly abused, as well as 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing controlled substances. The jury found she acted with implied malice because she did so in conscious disregard for the recipients of such prescriptions. To read more about this sobering case, click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/murder-doctor-prescribes-high-dose-of-controlled-substance.html
Superstrikes, in the context of Prop 47, include murder, attempted murder, homicide, mayhem, assault on a police officer with a machine gun, and other sexually violent sex offenses, but the question is often whether such a conviction “counts” if was suffered after the Prop 47 eligible offense. Does the statute only consider whether the petitioner suffered the offense before the Prop 47 offense, or at any time? To read a summary of a recent appellate court opinion that addressed this issue, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-are-super-strikes-in-the-context-of-prop-47.html
Many people are unaware that the Sixth Amendment rights to confront a witness being offered against oneself extends to the penalty phase of a trial, after guilt has been decided. In the following case, that right is vindicated for a person sentenced to death in a horrific murder. To read about this right, here involving the right to cross-examine a psychiatrist, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/death-sentence-reversed-for-6th-amendment-violation.html