No two motions for mental health diversion will be the same, as each one deals with an individual defendant and his or her particular case facts and history, however, every motion for mental health diversion must address certain required issues. The format of the motion should follow the California Rules of Court. To read more about this important motion, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-should-be-in-a-motion-for-mental-health-diversion.html.
Month: March 2023
Improper Juror Dismissal & Black Lives Matter Answers
To prevail on a Batson / Wheeler motion alleging unlawful juror dismissal because of unlawful discriminatory intent in jury selection, most often related to race, one must show that three things exist. To read a case summary that explains what must be shown in such a motion and what the judge must find, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/improper-juror-dismissal-black-lives-matter-answers.html
When Does the Marital Privilege End During Divorce?
The marital privilege does not end when the spouses separate with the intent to permanently end their marriage. In the following case, a judge compelled one spouse (a wife) to testify against her husband about past physical abuse he committed of her, although at the time of trial they were still legally married. On appeal, the appellate court found this was erroneous, but it was a harmless error, so the verdict was not reversed. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/when-does-the-marital-privilege-end-during-divorce.html
Confrontation Right Violated if Victim Turns Away?
The Confrontation Clause is often misunderstood by our clients. Sometimes, an accused does not have the right to “stare down” his accuser as this right is often understood. In the following truly horrific sex offense case, the judge permitted the victim to turn her chair to the side so she did not have to see the defendant, but so that the jury could still see her demeanor and evaluate her credibility. This was found to be permissible. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/confrontation-right-violated-if-victim-turns-away.html.
Youth Offender Parole Hearings – Is 3051(h) Illegal?
We receive a lot of phone calls about Franklin Hearings. When speaking to the callers, one thing we always ask is whether the prisoner was sentenced under the Three Strikes Law because he or she had a prior strike or strikes. When the caller says yes, we have to tell the caller that the prisoner is not eligible for a Franklin hearing to augment his or her file for a later Youth Offender Parole Hearing. Is this unconstitutional? To read a summary of a recent case out of Compton Superior Court that raised this challenge, please click here – https://www.greghillassociates.com/youth-offender-parole-hearings-is-3051-h-illegal.html
PC 1473.7 Motion on 273.5 Plea – Showing Prejudice
The following summary of a recent Fourth Appellate District case, People v. Bravo, sets forth a six-factor test that a judge should use in evaluating a motion to vacate under Penal Code § 1473.7(a)(1) – and defendant would be wise to address – in evaluating undue prejudice claims as a result of a conviction. To read the six factors and to better understand motions to vacate for immigration consequences, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/pc-1473-7-motion-on-273-5-plea-showing-prejudice.html
Is it Brandishing a Weapon if Defendant 15 Feet Away?
Depending upon the manner in which defendant exhibits a weapon toward the victim, and defendant’s demeanor, defendant can commit brandishing a weapon even if fifteen feet away from a victim. In the following case, this issue is discussed, as well as a discussion of whether brandishing a weapon is a lesser-included offense of assault with a deadly weapon. To read a short summary of the reported decision from the Fourth Appellate District, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/is-it-brandishing-a-weapon-if-defendant-15-feet-away.html
Videotape of Defendant’s Remorse Properly Excluded.
A judge has broad discretion to exclude certain evidence that the judge finds is unreliable because it was not, for example, related to a proper police interrogation. Here, at a sentencing hearing in which the death penalty was imposed, the judge excluded a confession by defendant in which he wept over committing the crime, showing remorse. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/videotape-of-defendants-remorse-properly-excluded.html
Trial Court Errs by Imposing 20 Kilogram Enhancement
A sentence may be based upon a sentence enhancements that was never alleged in the complaint, information or any amended charges, even if the evidence certainly supports such an enhancement. In the following summary involving transportation of a controlled substance, a twenty kilogram (fifteen years each) sentence enhancement was imposed after the verdict, even when the jury was never asked to find it true. To read a summary of the case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/trial-court-errs-by-imposing-20-kilogram-enhancement.html.
Juror Excusal Because Belief System Unfair to Blacks?
A judge may not excuse a juror just because a juror has a stated belief that the criminal justice system is unfair to African Americans. However, if the juror states that this belief would cause him or her to be unable to be impartial because of sympathy for defendant, then the judge may excuse the juror without violating defendant’s right to a fair trial. To read a summary of a recent Sacramento-area case where this was litigated, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/juror-excusal-because-belief-system-unfair-to-blacks.html