A dismissal of a criminal case is only allowed in a misdemeanor matter when the judge determines that the injury or damage caused by defendant is capable of a civil resolution and that the victim is “made whole” (usually this means paid for repair or replacement costs) and acknowledges it to the judge. It can no longer be used in hit and run matters, but remains a viable resolution method in vandalism, graffiti, and other cases. To read more about civil compromises, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/when-is-a-dismissal-via-civil-compromise-not-allowed.html
Senate Bill 1187, which reduces the time for a civil commitment from three years to two years following a finding of incompetency to stand trial (usually after a defense attorney declares a doubt under Penal Code § 1368), is not retroactive. In a recent appellate court opinion, the Fifth Appellate District evaluated the argument that it was retroactive and disagreed on several grounds. To read a short summary of the opinion, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/is-sb-1187-retroactive-for-competency-commitments.html
An ignition interlock device often does not work as expected. It can fail and lock someone out of his or her car starting at the worst times. However, there are certain “tricks” to making it work smoother and with less hiccups. To read these tips, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/before-using-an-ignition-interlock-device-iid-read-this.html
Sexual battery, as our office has commonly seen it alleged, usually involves a drunk person touching a member of the opposite sex, over clothes, at an “intimate body part.” It is a scary thing for the victim because he or she does not know if something much more serious will follow. The crime is a wobbler, but even if it is charged as a misdemeanor, the client faces registration as a sex offender for life (SB 384 will modify this as of January 1, 2022). To read more about this offense, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-sexual-battery-penal-code-243-4-e-1.html
In a petition for resentencing under Penal Code § 1170.95 (SB 1437), the judge must evaluate a conviction for murder under the new felony murder rule that narrows the scope of who can be so convicted in a felony that turns into a murder. What if an aider and abettor provides the actual killer with a gun to use in a grocery store robbery and cases the store the day before with the shooter? Is such conduct enough to make the defendant a major participant acting with reckless indifference later when the killing takes place? To read a summary of a recent 1437 petition on these facts and issues, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/lwop-or-death-penalty-ok-if-defendant-knows-guns-involved.html.
After Proposition 47 was passed, the distinction between shoplifting and commercial burglary became focused on whether the value of the items stolen were less than or more than $950, plus whether the crime took place during normal business hours. In the following case summary, the prosecution failed to present and evidence of any value of the intended trade-in defendant sought with the victim store, so there was no conviction for shoplifting or commercial burglary and the conviction was reversed. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/commercial-burglary-versus-shoplifting-and-prop-47.html.
In the following summary of a recent California Supreme Court ruling, the widely-used (some might say abused) warrant exception for police to search a car’s interior for a driver’s license may have been eliminated. Our caution in characterizing this development is because each case is fact specific and future opinions may seek to whittle away at this opinion by factually distinguishing it from a further case addressing the same issue. However, to read this rather important (we think) opinion, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/fourth-amendment-warrant-exception-gone-for-driver-id-search.html
Senate Bill 1393 permits a judge to exercise his or her discretion to strike a five-year sentence enhancement for a prior serious felony conviction imposed under Penal Code § 667(a)(1). The courts of appeal in California are split (in disagreement) over whether a judge can act under SB 1393 when there is a negotiated disposition and the judge has no active role in sentencing. In the following case out of the Second Appellate District covering Los Angeles County cases, the appellate court said a judge cannot act when a case is resolved via a plea bargain. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/can-a-judge-act-under-sb-1393-if-case-plea-bargained.html
Being acquitted for perjury (Penal Code § 118) does not bar prosecution for submitting a false document (Penal Code § 115) because the requirements for a conviction under 118 differ from those needed for find a violation of 115. This issue was litigated originally in a San Francisco Superior Court and then the First District Court of Appeal, which found that the “Elements Test” and not the “Accusatory Pleading Test” should be applied because the fundamental issue was double jeopardy. To read more about this rather interesting case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/does-acquittal-for-perjury-bar-case-for-pc-115-a.html
Using a car to commit assault or a battery can be a horrifying thing, but this crime can also be charged when defendant drives in a reckless manner, i.e. he or she is engaged in street racing, running red lights and speeding. What is the punishment for such a conviction? What are the defenses? What must the prosecution prove? To read about this offense in more detail, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-assault-with-a-deadly-weapon-using-a-car.html