What Is Evidence Code § 1161(b) and When Does It Apply?

Evidence Code § 1161(b) prohibits the introduction of one’s sexual history, including if one engaged in prostitution as a victim of human trafficking, to attack the credibility of a person in any civil or criminal case. After all, very sadly, some people (mostly women) turn to prostitution as a last resort to simply make money to survive. This dark chapter in their lives should not be exposed to impugn her or his credibility later. To read about a real-life example of how 1161(b) was applied, please click on the following link.



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Is a Certificate of Probable Cause Needed for SB 620 Relief?

A judge may strike a ten-year sentencing enhancement, in his or her discretion, in any sentence eligible for resentencing. Usually, this means the sentence is not yet final because the case is at some stage of appeal or post-appeal within a deadline for a further appeal or writ. But to seek resentencing on a non-final sentence, must defendant also obtain a certificate of probable cause? The answer is yes. To read a summary of a reported decision, where this critical issue was litigated, please click on the following link.



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Senate Bill 1421- More Public Overview of Police

Newspapers frequently publicize articles about a police officer who was investigated for misconduct and found to have committed multiple acts of dishonesty, violence or gross negligence. Paradoxically, becoming aware of such misconduct can increase public trust in police by being assured that such officers are held accountable in a public way, rather than hiding such misdeeds. Senate Bill 1421 seeks to further this public trust by making such information more accessible. To read more about SB 1421, please click on the following link.



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Does Mental Health Diversion Apply in Juvenile Court?

No is the answer to the question posed in the title of this blog post. However, a recent published opinion out of the First Appellate District Court in San Francisco added that mental health diversion would be available for a juvenile offender whose case is transferred to adult court through a fitness hearing under Prop 57. To read more about this recent ruling, please click on the following link.



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It Is a Crime to Talk in Court with Someone in Custody?

It is very common for those coming to court to see someone in custody to become emotional upon seeing a loved one in jail clothing. Often the person in the court audience will mouth the words, “I love you” as a show of support. Other times, a rival gang member may come to court to shout that the person in custody “is a dead man soon!” or some other kind of threat. Are both forms of communication illegal? To read the answer, please click on the following link.



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