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

SB 620 Applies Retroactively to Only Nonfinal Sentences

Senate Bill 620 (“SB 620”) is seen by many in prison and the families of those in custody as a gift from heaven because it gives a judge discretion to strike a gun enhancement when such enhancements used to be strictly mandatory. Lost in the euphoria of learning about this new law is the fact that SB 620 does not apply to sentences that are final, i.e., a sentence that was not appealed and has been entered more than sixty days ago. It does not apply, for example to someone who has been in prison for ten years already. To read more about this law, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/sb-620-applies-retroactively-to-only-nonfinal-sentences.html

No Youth Offender Parole Hearing if LWOP after Age 18?

Within the context of eligibility for a Franklin hearing, many people overlook the fact that a person is not eligible for a Youth Offender Parole Hearing if he or she committed the crime after age 18 and was sentenced to a life without parole (LWOP) sentence. However, if the person was 17 years and 364 days old, and the person is sentenced to an LWOP sentence, the person is eligible for a Franklin hearing. To read more about this aspect of the law, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/no-youth-offender-parole-hearing-if-lwop-after-age-18.html

SB 1437: Does it Apply to Provocative Act Murder Doctrine?

The following summary of a Second Appellate District Court opinion shows the limits of a petition for resentencing under Penal Code § 1170.95 (SB 1437). Two defendants were convicted under a provocative act theory (not felony murder and not under a natural and probable consequences theory) and sought resentencing. The reader of the opinion and the summary may recognize how close a provocative act theory can be to the natural and probable consequences theory. To read a summary of the opinion, https://www.greghillassociates.com/sb-1437-does-it-apply-to-provocative-act-murder-doctrine.html

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Defendant’s Mental Health

As one might imagine, representing someone with a mental illness can present many difficulties. Not only are there communication issues and one’s patience may be tested, but the attorney has a duty to discuss such issues with the prosecution in seeking an alternative resolution that reflects the mitigating factors related to defendant’s poor mental health. The following case is a good example of an attorney who failed to do so in the context of a motion to withdraw a plea. To read a summary of the appellate court ruling, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/ineffective-assistance-of-counsel-defendants-mental-health.html

SB 1437 Denied under People v. Holmes Stipulation?

If one is s defense attorney, amid perhaps great relief from sparing one’s client from capital murder or life without the possibility of parole, nonetheless be careful of agreeing to a stipulate to a specific set of facts or mens rea in accepting a plea bargain, as one cannot predict what future changes the courts or our legislature may make to the law. The following summary exemplifies this danger in counsel entering into a People v. Holmes stipulation prior to sentencing – https://www.greghillassociates.com/sb-1437-denied-under-people-v-holmes-stipulation.html