Sentence OK if for Robbery and Kidnapping for Robbery?

Is a sentence based on the crime of robbery and also the crime of kidnapping for robbery a redundant sentence that violates principals forbidding double jeopardy? In other words, is the conduct the same in each crime? No is the answer, as most people will appreciate. However, the answer is really not so simple, as the following summary explains. To read more about this case, please click on the following link –

Does Wende Apply in Appeal of Revoking PRCS?

As the reader may understand, Wende guarantees the right of an accused to have an appellate court review the record independently when appointed counsel cannot find an appellate issue. The intent behind Wende is to prevent ineffective assistance of counsel and ensure that no one is prejudiced by an attorney’s mistaken conclusion that there are no appellate issues remaining. However, there are limits to just how far an appellate court will intervene. For example, if a person’s PRCS is revoked, will an appellate court review the record? To find out, please click on the following link –

Does Wende Apply to Appeal Denying 1170.95 Relief?

No is the answer to the question posed in the blog title. In other words, an appellate court does not have an independent duty to review the record for any appealable issue when defendant seeks post-conviction relief and appointed counsel reviews the record but files a brief stating there are no such grounds, as long as appointed counsel notifies defendant of his right to file a supplemental brief setting forth grounds for appeal – and then defendant does nothing. In such a situation, the appellate court may treat the appeal as abandoned. To read more about this ruling, please click on the following link –

Federal Motion to Vacate Sentence Denial Affirmed.

In the following article, defendant was assigned a federal public defender to try to resolve a case in federal court before it was filed. The best offer that could be reached was 30 months in federal prison. Defendant allegedly rejected this, demanding probation instead. The case was then filed and defendant was convicted and sentenced to 48 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Defendant then moved to vacate his sentence based on ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court, denying the motion, because he did not have a constitutional right to counsel pre-indictment. Baffled? Click on the following link to read more about this ruling –

Youth Offender Parole Hearing if LWOP & Juvenile?

If one is age 17 and 364 days old when one commits a crime that results in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole (LWOP), that person actually is entitled to a Youth Offender Parole Hearing. While this is counterintuitive, it must be equally curios that if one is two days older, i.e., 18 years and one day old when one commits a crime that results in an LWOP sentence, that person is not entitled to a Youth Offender Parole Hearing. To read more about the exclusions from a Youth Offender Parole Hearing, please click on the following link –

Terry Stop OK if Defendant Suspiciously Ducking, Crouching?

What constitutes behavior by a suspect to give the officer observing it reasonable suspicion to make a detention? Does it matter what type of area this takes place in, i.e., does certain behavior in a high crime area suffice for reasonable suspicion when it would not rise to this level in another lower crime area? To read a summary of a recent Second Appellate District opinion involving certain observed behavior in a high crime area at night, please click on the following link –

If Defendant Did Not Meaningfully Understand Deportability?

The following case summary exemplifies a myriad of poor communication events, permitting a person subject to deportation to vacate his conviction because the judge found defendant did not understand the significance of not appearing for sentencing and how such a failure could change the terms of his sentence, which indeed were changed so that his conviction became an aggravated felony subjecting him to deportation. To read this summary, please click on the following link –

State of Mind Exception to Uncharged Acts Exception

As the reader of this blog may well be aware, generally speaking, it is improper for a judge to allow the introduction of evidence of uncharged acts, as it can confuse the issues and certainly cause unfair prejudice to defendant. However, such evidence may be admissible to refute or prove defendant’s state of mind in the pending case. To read about how this can be applied, for an example, please click on the following link –

Gross Vehicular Manslaughter Based on DUI due to THC?

Despite no consensus in the general scientific community about what concentration of THC will cause impairment in a person’s driving, prosecutions do proceed on DUI due to THC. The following case summary from the Second Appellate District arising out of a conviction at the Airport Courthouse is one that upheld such a conviction based on extremely bad facts. To read the summary, please click on the following link –

Penal Code § 1170.91(b) Resentencing (AB 865) Limitations

In resentencing a person who was a current military servicemember or a veteran at the time of the crime, it is important to recognize the limitations of the new law (Penal Code § 1170.91(b), codifying Assembly Bill (AB) 865). First, the sentence must have been selected or determined by the judge, i.e., after a conviction by a jury or judge, or during an open plea. Second, the sentence must have been entered before January 1, 2015. To Read more about this new law, please click on the following link –