What Is Organized Retail Theft (P.C. § 490.4)? Punishment?

Organized retail theft is a new law seeking to punish those who work as a group, often using the Internet, to steal from retail outlets with the intent to resell, return or exchange the merchandise for a profit. Sometimes, such groups enter a store with a plan to have one person create a distraction while others methodically steal certain items that can then be resold at swap meets or, in the case of medicine, online by altering the expiration dates. To read more about this offense and the statute, that will only be in effect for 2019 and 2020, click here.


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Serving Time Now Credited at $125 Per Day

It has been over three years now that Assembly Bill 1375 was passed into law, setting credit at $125 for each day served in custody, up from $30 per day. However, did the $125 apply to the base fine or just the total owed? In September, 2016, the Governor signed AB 2839 into law, stating that the $125 applied only to the base fine, but questions remained. The case of Juan Carranza, recently decided, seems to neatly resolve all such questions on this issue. To read a short summary of the appellate court decision on Mr. Carranza, click on the following link.


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What Is Organized Retail Theft (Penal Code 490.4)?

Are you or someone you know charged with violating Penal Code § 490.4? Are you confused by what “organized retail theft” is? After all, what behavior is illegal under this statute? What is the punishment? What are the defenses? How can one fight this type of charge? To read answers to each of these questions, click on the following link.


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Lifetime Firearm Prohibition Now Applies After Misdemeanor Conviction for 273.5

If one is convicted after January 1, 2019 of misdemeanor domestic violence under Penal Code § 273.5, there is a lifetime ban on owning a firearm, ammunition or an ammunition-loading device, rather than a ten-year ban as was previously the law. The new lifetime ban is not triggered by a conviction for violating Penal Code § 243(e)(1), making such a resolution under this code section far more valuable now if one is a gun owner. To read more about this new law and its details, click on the following link.



What Are B.A.R.C. Online Animal Cruelty Courses?

Animal cruelty is a tough crime to defend. After all, most people are deeply sympathetic to suffering or pain that any animal such as a dog or cat may endure, as such animals are often a great source of personal comfort, affection or loyalty. So when one is facing such a charge, damage control is often a prime objective of the defense. Until recently, there were no online classes one could take to get a start on mitigating punishment. Now there are the B.A.R.C. online classes for animal cruelty. What is involved in such classes? To read about these classes, click on the following link.



What Is Vacating a Conviction under Penal Code § 1473.7?

If someone if facing deportation or other adverse immigration consequences due to a prior conviction, that person or his attorney should look closely at Penal Code § 1473.7 and the circumstances of the plea leading to such immigration problems. Our office has now filed and had granted several motions to vacate a plea or conviction under Penal Code § 1473.7. It is a powerful, broadly written new law. To read more about 1473.7, click on the following link.



Is SB 1393 Retroactive to Allow Resentencing, Less Time?

Senate Bill (SB) 1393 is not retroactive to allow someone in prison to request a lower sentence based on SB 1393’s provisions giving judges discretion to not impose a five-year enhancement for a prior conviction for a serious felony when defendant faces a sentencing on a serious felony. In other words, one cannot ask for resentencing on any sentence if the sentence is final. However, if the sentence is not final, SB 1393 would apply and the judge has discretion to keep or not impose such a five-year enhancement. To read more about SB 1393, please click on the following link.




Is Carrying a Loaded Gun a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

If one is unlawfully carrying a loaded gun for self-defense, i.e. one does not have a license to do so or a permit to do so, is such a crime a crime of moral turpitude that could cause immigration problems? Until the case of Francisco Bedolla, no court had ruled on this issue. How did the Sixth Appellate Court rule on this? To read a summary of the ruling, click on the following link.



If Jurors Discuss Defendant Not Testifying, Prejudice?

There is very often a point in a criminal case where jurors think, “If defendant is innocent, why won’t he testify and just explain the truth?” Indeed, such a naïve trust in our judicial system is refreshing, but also underestimates the power of an experienced prosecutor to cross examine a defendant and impeach defendant. Therefore, most defense attorneys counsel their clients to remain silent at trial. If jurors discuss this refusal to testify, is this improper? If not, can it become improper at some point? To read more about this issue, click on the following link.



Prop 57 Not Retroactive for Juvenile While Appealing?

Our office has received many phone calls and e-mail inquiries about appealing a conviction suffered by a juvenile for a case filed in adult court.  Proposition 57 has changed the law on how a criminal case against a juvenile must be filed.  Proposition 57, however, is not retroactive because it does not directly change punishment.  To read more about how Proposition 57 may still benefit someone who was convicted in adult court before Prop 57 was passed, click on the following link.


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