Old Age Alone and Sexually Violent Predator Commitment

Most people slow down with age, especially at age 74. However, “slowing down” does not mean a person, previously adjudicated as a sexually violent predator, necessarily loses sexual deviancy and no longer presents a danger to public safety in less physically demanding ways. In fact, the older man may be just as interested in such conduct. The following summary of a recent Second Appellate District case explains why old age alone does not bar a continuing SVP civil commitment to someone, even if age 74 – https://www.greghillassociates.com/old-age-alone-and-sexually-violent-predator-commitment.html

Conditioning Bail on Ability to Pay Is Unconstitutional

In the landmark California Supreme Court case of In re Kenneth Humphrey, the California Supreme Court held that conditioning bail solely upon a defendant’s ability to pay a bail amount was unconstitutional. Instead, a court setting bail must consider alternative methods of ensuring public safety such as electronic monitoring, classes, drug and alcohol counseling, etc. Only in unusual cases, shown by clear and convincing evidence of public safety danger, may pretrial confinement be proper. To read more about this new legal standard for setting bail, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/conditioning-bail-on-ability-to-pay-is-unconstitutional.html

Mental Health Diversion & Unreasonable Risk of Public Danger

When a judge considers a Motion for Mental Health Diversion, there are six basic issues to evaluate. One of those is whether defendant will pose an unreasonable risk of danger to the public if defendant is permitted to remain out of custody to receive mental health counseling. The following summary of a recent Torrance Superior Court case exemplifies what constitutes an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. It is a risk that the person will commit a “Super Strike,” not just a misdemeanor or even a non-serious, non-violent felony. To read more about this issue, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/mental-health-diversion-unreasonable-risk-of-public-danger.html

When’s an Attempted DUI Considered an Attempted Felony DUI?

In more than 23 years of practice, I have never defended anyone accused of attempted DUI and I have never heard of anyone charged with attempted DUI. I have heard judges even say, “There is no such thing as attempted DUI.” The following summary shows those judges were wrong and that one can be prosecuted for attempted DUI. To read more about this rare crime, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/whens-an-attempted-dui-considered-an-attempted-felony-dui.html

Opening the Door on Character Evidence (Evidence Code 1102(a))?

As the reader of this blog may be aware, character evidence is generally inadmissible to prove conduct on a specific instance. It can also be inadmissible, especially if negative, as unduly prejudicial and having little probative value. However, the party against whom such evidence is sought to be introduced can “open the door” on such evidence and thereby impliedly consent to its introduction or waive any objection to its introduction. How does this happen? To read about this, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/opening-the-door-on-character-evidence-evidence-code-1102-a.html

Sexual Battery by Fraudulent Misrepresentation (PC 243.4(c))?

Sexual battery by fraudulent misrepresentation is a heinous crime that is perhaps best understood by reading a summary of a recent appellate court decision wherein defendant, convicted at the trial court level, challenged his conviction for insufficiency of evidence. The First Appellate District, in ruling on this appeal, described the essential elements of the crime, which requires a victim consent to touching, often believing that it would serve a professional purpose. For more information about this crime, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/sexual-battery-by-fraudulent-misrepresentation-pc-243-4-c.html

When Criminal History is Not Neutral Basis to Exclude?

In the following summary, defendant was African American. He was convicted of multiple crimes and sentenced to 73 years to life in prison. On appeal, he argued that the prosecutor excluded certain jurors based on their being African American. One prospective juror, who was African American, stated during voir dire that she was prosecuted for shoplifting earlier and the prosecutor excused her without asking any follow up questions. Defendant claimed this juror was excused due to her race and the appellate court agreed that her criminal history was not a race-neutral basis for her exclusion because the prosecutor did not ask any follow up questions about this (and the conviction was then reversed). To read more about the case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/when-criminal-history-is-not-neutral-basis-to-exclude.html

Is ShotSpotter Evidence Admissible at Trial?

ShotSpotter evidence, “an acoustic gunfire detection and location system of GPS-enabled microphones placed at various areas of a municipal area,” is subject to an evidence admissibility hearing on its reliability as scientific evidence under Kelley-Frye before it is admissible at trial. This ruling was made by the First Appellate District Court after a man in Oakland was convicted of shooting a gun based on ShotSpotter evidence presented to the jury. To read more about this case, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/is-shotspotter-evidence-admissible-in-trial.html

Conviction for Recording Confidential Communications?

Does a person waive his or her privacy when communicating within the course and scope of employment? One may answer yes, but what if that employment is as a prostitute? Would there be an expectation of privacy entitled to protection by the prostitute in such communications while in a customer’s home? If the answer is yes, can the “John” be prosecuted for illegally recording such conversations? To read the answer to this rather interesting issue, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/conviction-for-recording-confidential-communications.html

Judge’s Repeated Interruptions of Counsel: Misconduct?

There are limits to how often a judge may interrupt counsel during a trial to help cross-examine a witness or expedite a trial. Generally, the effect of a judge doing so is helpful. However, sometimes it can become prejudicial misconduct, warranting reversal of a verdict. To read about one such case where the judge went far too far, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/judges-repeated-interruptions-of-counsel-misconduct.html