Under Humphrey, Judge Must View Bail Funds Truly Available

In determining a defendant’s ability to post bail, how must the judge evaluate a defendant’s assets? What if the assets are not convertible (liquid)? What if selling the assets to yield cash is virtually impossible or extremely time consuming? Can the judge consider the value of such assets in setting bail under Humphrey? To read a reported decision that addressed this issue, click on the following link, but note, too, that as of December 23, 2018, Humphrey is apparently being appealed, so citing to it is improper.



Can DA Assert Facts Not in Evidence in Closing Argument?

No, no and no is the answer to the rhetorical question posed in the title to this post. Yet, what exactly are facts not in evidence? Can an attorney argue about the relative honesty (and thus credibility) of certain witnesses and if so, how can one do so properly? What is an example of a DA doing so improperly? To read about how one DA went about this in the wrong way, click on the following link.



Does Prop 47 Allow Expungement of Juvenile DNA Profile?

Penal Code § 299 allows one to request destruction of one’s DNA sample and DNA profile from the State of California’s DNA databank. If a juvenile petition is sustained against a person accused of a misdemeanor, the juvenile does not need to submit a DNA sample. However, if a felony petition is sustained (analogous to a felony conviction), the juvenile must provide a DNA sample for the state’s databank. What happens to the DNA sample and DNA profile if someone has a felony adjudication as a juvenile reduced under Prop 47 from a felony to a misdemeanor? Is it destroyed? This question was posed by two juveniles in separate proceedings, but consolidated into one case that a court of appeal tackled. What was their answer? To read a short summary of the cases, click on the following link.


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Does Vehicle Code § 2800.2 Apply on a Private Road?

Can one be charged with evading arrest on a private road if the purpose and intent of the law is to prevent danger to the public, caused by a police chase, if the public is not allowed on the road? The question itself, if answered in the affirmative, would seem to promote evading arrest with impunity on a private road, yet still endanger the police giving chase. If the answer to the question is no, then would not this seem logical given the law’s purpose? To read a published opinion that put this issue to the test, click on the following link.



What Will California’s Elimination of Money Bail Do?

As the reader of this blog may be aware, Senate Bill 10 was recently passed in September, 2018, replacing cash bail effective October 1, 2018 with a new system of release of anyone charged with a misdemeanor (subject to 13 exceptions) and an individualized risk assessment for pre-trial release for those accused of felonies. This is a radical change in California law that we believe will create massive problems. To read why we believe this is so, please click on the following link.



Can a Judge End Probation Early in a Domestic Violence Case?

Whether one has a person experience with domestic violence or only is aware of the highly reported O.J. Simpson case and how his first domestic violence case was swept under the rug, domestic violence cases are handled nowadays with special care. Therefore, some judges believe that they have no power to shorten probation in such
a case if asked. However, this is definitely wrong, as the following summary of a recent published decision (People v. Killion) explains.



Are There Limits on How Much One Can Pay in Restitution?

Restitution is a commonly misunderstood area in a criminal case, including most significantly by judges and prosecutors. We at Greg Hill & Associates have experience in civil cases involving damages, so we are more familiar with the concepts in restitution hearings than some younger judges who only have experience as a district attorney or public defender, for example. Most fundamentally, what can a judge order that a defendant pay in restitution to a victim of crime? For a summary of a recent case that addressed this issues, click on the following link.



Can Prop 47 Remove an Enhancement & 5 Year Wash Out Period?

Yes is the answer to the question posed in the title to this post, but exactly how one reaches such a removal to reduce one’s sentence is a bit complicated and shows why anyone eligible for 17(b) relief to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor ought to request this. Moreover, in the case that follows, it also shows why for state court sentences (this probably would not be similarly treated by a federal court), Prop 47 relief should be sought always, often as early as possible. To read more on this subject and to better understand Prop 47, please click on the following link.