What is the New Judicial Diversion Law for 2021?

The new judicial diversion law, effective January 1, 2021, gives the judge discretion to suspend proceedings in any misdemeanor (except domestic violence (both 273.5 and 243(e)(1), stalking (646.9) and any misdemeanor where defendant, if convicted, would be required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290), and order the defendant to a program of judicial diversion for up to two years. Now, after eleven months of filing motions seeking judicial diversion in such cases, we have some experience and working knowledge about the new law. To read more about the new law, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-the-new-judicial-diversion-law-for-2021.html

After Prop 64, Marijuana and Probable Cause to Search Vehicle

With the passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a police officer cannot search a vehicle without a warrant if he observes marijuana in the car, whereas before Prop 64’s passage, an officer could do this. Please keep in mind that it remains illegal to drive while impaired from smoking marijuana, so if the police officer observes the driver being impaired and marijuana smoke or the smell of freshly burned marijuana, a search is proper even after Prop 64 becoming effective. To read more about how Prop 64 affects the legal ability of a police officer to search a car after smelling marijuana, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/after-prop-64-marijuana-probable-cause-to-search-vehicle.html

Prop 57: CDCR Has Broad Discretion on Conduct Credits

In calculating one’s parole date under Proposition 57, many people believe that the CDCR is supposed to assume one earns conduct credits in their calculation. As the following summary of a reported decision from the Third Appellate District explains, this is not how the CDCR performs their calculation. After all, one can lose conduct credits for disciplinary violations (and have such credits restored later), so excluding such credits in the initial calculation seems proper and then adding them in later makes more sense. To read more about the CDCR’s early parole date calculation, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/prop-57-cdcr-has-broad-discretion-on-conduct-credits.html

Fetal Murder Conviction Reversed for Inadmissible Hearsay

The following summary of a serial murder case involving a trail of dead prostitute in Los Angeles is grissly, especially the fact that one of the victims was pregnant and the fetus died with the death of the mother. However, such horrific facts did not shelter the admission of expert testimony that was hearsay, as the California Supreme Court reversed the fetal murder conviction, but affirmed the remainder of the sentence. To read about an expert’s improper reliance on an autospsy report written by someone else, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/fetal-murder-conviction-reversed-for-inadmissible-hearsay.html

Romero Motion Only Considers the Crime Committed, Not More

The following summary is one that anyone filing a Romero motion may want to cite to because it reverses a Pomona trial court for denying a Romero motion and is so doing, making inferences that were, the Second Appellate District Court commented, improper speculation. The opinion also reminds the reader that the court should consider the lapse of time since the prior strike and defendant’s employment history in the intervening time. To read a summary of this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/romero-motion-considers-only-the-crime-committed-not-more.html

What is Penal Code § 17500 Regarding a Deadly Weapon?

Penal Code § 17500 makes it a misdemeanor to possess a deadly weapon with the intent to commit an assault upon another. It is punishable by up to six months in county jail, but has no minimum punishment like the 30-day mandatory jail time for violation of Penal Code § 417 (brandishing a weapon) and is not considered as serious as assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code § 245(a)(4), which is a wobbler. Consequently, it is seen as a possible plea bargain charge to such more punishing and stigmatizing charges. To read more about Penal Code § 17500, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-penal-code-17500-regarding-a-deadly-weapon.html

What is Penal Code 1170.91(h) for Veterans? When to Apply?

Penal Code § 1170.91(h) is a powerful resentencing provision available to former service members who were referred to a court-ordered treatment program for a service-related disability and are in substantial compliance therein to have probation terminated early, the charge reduced to a misdemeanor (if a wobbler) and the conviction expunged. There are exceptions to such provision, so we suggest anyone interested in this program to read our short article on 1170.91(h) by clicking the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-is-penal-code-1170-91-h-for-veterans-when-to-apply.html

Can Cop Opening Car Door be an Unconstitutional Search?

Often a police officer, perhaps in frustration after a defendant evades arrest or obstructs such an officer, will open a car door. Would such conduct be considered a Fourth Amendment violation as an unlawful and unreasonable search if defendant did not consent to his car door being opened? What if as a result of opening the door, the officer finds and seizes evidence of a crime? Would this be an unconstitutional search? To read a summary of a recent published opinion on this issue, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/can-cop-opening-car-door-be-an-unconstitutional-search.html

SB 1437: Does it Apply to Provocative Act Murder?

Is the provocative act doctrine part of the natural and probable consequences doctrine? If so, would a defendant convicted of provocative act murder be eligible for relief under Senate Bill 1437 if he or she otherwise was not the actual killer and did not act with the specific intent to kill? The following summary of a Long Beach Superior Court case addressed this exact issue, when appealed to the Second Appellate District? To find out, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/sb-1437-does-it-apply-to-provocative-act-murder.html

Immigration: Aggravated Felonies Under Federal Law?

If one is not a U.S. citizen and you face a criminal case in state court, it is smart to know what convictions are considered aggravated felonies, as such a conviction does have adverse immigration consequences. For a list of some of the more common aggravated felonies, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/immigration-aggravated-felonies-under-federal-law.html