Improper Photo Lineup: When Is It Unduly Suggestive?

To describe in words how a photo lineup can be unduly suggestive is inherently difficult, yet the California Supreme Court has recently done so in a quadruple murder case that arose out of Compton. In one of the photo lineups shown to three eye witnesses, one defendant was shown with a “smirky grin,” but the Supreme Court overruled the appeal to the conviction on this issue. To read more about when a photo lineup could be unduly suggestive, please click on the following link –

What Are the Sentencing Rules Against Dual Use of Facts?

Based on principals of double jeopardy, a judge cannot rely on one fact to support more than one sentence enhancement, or one fact to support an upper term sentence that also supports an enhancement, or impose consecutive sentences in reliance on one fact that also supports an enhancement. Likewise, a judge cannot impose consecutive sentences, or impose an upper term sentence based on a fact that is an element of the crime. To read more about dual use of facts, please click on the following link –

Penal Code § 1385: Limits on a Judge’s Discretion

While there are certain limitations on when a judge may dismiss a charge or sentencing enhancement in the “interest of justice” under Penal Code § 1385, it is also good to know when a judge can do so, as it is a broad power. The following link is to an article on this very significant power that judges have. –

Felony Committed While on Bail or Own Recognizance (OR)?

If one is out of custody on bail or own recognizance (OR) release and commits a felony, Penal Code § 12022.1 mandates a two-year consecutive (not concurrent) sentence enhancement for that felony. The two-year enhancement, consecutive to the sentence on the felony, is then consecutive to the sentence on the matter the individual posted bail for or was released OR from custody for. This is because the three offenses are regarded as taking place at separate times. To read more about this sentence enhancement, please click on the following link –

Are You Charged with DUI and Need to Travel to Canada?

If you are charged with DUI and need to travel to Canada, you should be aware that you may be deemed inadmissible and turned around at the border, including at the airport in Canada. If you have a conviction that is more than five years old since you finished probation for the DUI, you can apply to be found “criminally rehabilitated.” If that five year period has not passed, one can apply for a Temporary Residence Permit, or TRP. To read more about this issue, please click on the following link –

Is Hobbs Act Violated by Threat of Sham Litigation?

If someone threatens litigation, knowing that the evidence upon which the threatened litigation is fabricated and therefore the litigation would be based on fraud, that is a violation of the federal Hobbs Act. The following summary of a federal appeal to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals explains this application of the Hobbs Act. To read the summary, please click on the following link –

Domestic Violence – Evidence of Suspect’s Other Bad Acts?

With the exception of domestic violence and sex offense cases, evidence of a suspect’s prior acts (uncharged or even convictions) is inadmissible to prove propensity to commit the offense being prosecuted. Nonetheless, judges must still evaluate the evidence for unfair prejudice under six criteria. To read about this six-step process, please click on the following link –

Mistaken Admission of Prior Uncharged Act, No Common Motive

Whenever a prosecutor seeks to introduce evidence of a prior uncharged act, defense counsel must be alert to the evidence tending to show character or propensity, unless the prior act is introduced under Evidence Code §§ 1108 or 1109 in a case involving sex offense and / or domestic violence. Otherwise, it is inadmissible except for very limited purposes, as the following case summary discusses. To read this summary of where a judge erred in allowing the admission of such evidence, please click on the following link –

One Strike Offender Eligible for Youth Offender Parole Hearing

A person convicted of a “One Strike” crime (a sex offense under certain conditions) used to be ineligible for a Youth Offender Parole Hearing. That has changed in the Andre Lamont Woods case with the Second Appellate District’s recent ruling that he is eligible for such a hearing. Will he be granted parole? Most likely not, but Mr. Woods has cracked open the door for someone else who may be granted parole in the future. To read about this rather significant change in the law, please click on the following link –