What Conditions Allow Deadly Force in Self Defense?

The use of deadly force in self defense can be legal in very limited circumstances. It is usually in excess of the scope of self-defense allowed. However, to read an article that explains when deadly force might be allowed in self-defense, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/what-conditions-allow-deadly-force-in-self-defense.html

Inglewood Police Department & Unlawful Inventory Search?

After a person is arrested, an officer may conduct an inventory search of a person’s car without a warrant, but the search cannot be investigatory in nature. The purpose of the search must be administrative in nature: to prepare a summary of what items the car has so as to protect the officers from claims of theft later when the car is returned to its owner. The scope of a search must be limited and the method of taking such an inventory must follow department protocol, although minor noncompliance does not make the search a Fourth Amendment violation. To read more about the limits of such a search, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/inglewood-police-department-unlawful-inventory-search.html

The Narrowing of the Kill Zone Theory – Shoot to Scare

The “Kill Zone” theory of murder has been misused by prosecutors to secure murder convictions wherein defendant had no intent to kill, but may have been a gang member shooting at another group of rival gang members or was shooting toward a party in a house known to be a rival gang member’s house. The shooting was clearly reckless, but more akin to assault or criminal threats by a gun. The following summary of a recent published opinion shows how courts are now recognizing this and narrowing the use of the “Kill Zone” theory, something we think is long overdue. To read our summary, click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/the-narrowing-of-the-kill-zone-theory-shoot-to-scare.html

Does Evidence of Pot in Car Allow Warrantless Search?

In 2018, in Stockton, California, officers noticed a man parked on the side of road. The officers decided to perform a welfare-safety check on the man and he became hostile toward police. Police then notice two to three grams of marijuana in a baggie in the front seat of the car, which was legal due to the passage of Prop 64 a few years earlier. Police then searched the car and found a loaded firearm, which the motorist was not allowed to have as he was a convicted felon. Was the search of his car legal, based on the officers’ observation of the marijuana in the car? To find out, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/does-evidence-of-pot-in-car-allow-warrantless-search.html

Romero Motion Improperly Granted for Prior Hate Crime

In the following summary of an Orange County Superior Court ruling that the appellate court reversed, even the most cynical observer of Orange County courts must agree that the trial court judge got it wrong when he struck a strike for purposes of sentencing. Indeed, defendant had 18 convictions in 20 years, which was remarkable considering how much of those 20 years were spent in custody. To make things even more egregious, the judge struck a strike in a hate crime. To read more about this case, please click on the following case – https://www.greghillassociates.com/romero-motion-improperly-granted-for-prior-hate-crime.html

Early Assertion of Right to Speedy Trial Better than Later

As one judge succinctly stated, “a belated assertion of a procedural due process right to a speedy SVP trial is entitled to less weight than a prompt assertion of such a right.” While the context of this statement was within a sexually violent predator trial, a similar analysis applies to a “regular” criminal case wherein defendant seeks dismissal of the case for a Sixth Amendment violation. To read more about this claim and how a judge evaluates it, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/early-assertion-of-right-to-speedy-trial-better-than-later.html

DUI Tests and Evidence Code § 664 Presumptions

DMV Hearings can be quite frustrating because attorneys are taught about the Evidence Code in law school and then we are testified on California evidence law on the Bar Exam.  In the course of practice, we may get to see a judge rule on evidentiary objections in court.  So when an attorney makes evidentiary objections at a DMV Hearing, the attorney is often quite confident in how the objection should be ruled upon by the DMV.  However, this often does not happen, making counsel angry that the “DMV is not following California law.”  To read an article on how one can maneuver through the evidentiary issues in a DMV hearing, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/dui-tests-and-evidence-code-664-presumptions.html

Sixth Amendment, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

To prove ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC), one must show first, that counsel’s performance fell below “an objective standard of reasonableness under prevailing professional standards” and second, “that there is a reasonable probability that but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.”  Strickland v. Washington (1964) 466 U.S. 668.  This is a tough standard to meet, so knowing a bit about what qualifies and what does not is helpful before retaining an attorney to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus based on IAC.  To read a short article on proving IAC, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/sixth-amendment-ineffective-assistance-of-counsel.html

Prop 57 & Juvenile Filing Only Applies to Active Cases

It is not uncommon for someone to call our office and ask about “the new laws announced by the DA, George Gascon, for taking off enhancements.”  A discussion then follows about how there were no “new laws” put into effect and that his “special directives” were stopped in part by a civil restraining order granted by a civil judge.  However, we usually ask the caller about other facts of the case because there indeed are some new laws that do apply, but in limited circumstances.  One is the new Proposition 57 and Senate Bill 1391 regarding the filing of a case against a juvenile and also against a juvenile age 14 o4 15 when the crime took place.  Sometimes, these laws can have retroactive effect if there is a valid petition for resentencing filed, i.e. under AB 865 or Penal Code § 1437.  To read more about Prop 57 and Senate Bill 1391, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/prop-57-juvenile-filing-only-applies-to-active-cases.html

Under SB 1437, Resentence to the Underlying Felony?

Often lost amid the excitement of finding out one is eligible for resentencing under Senate Bill 1437 (due to the new felony murder rule changes) is the answer to “so what happens at resentencing?”  Will defendant be simply released for time served?  Will defendant have a shorter sentence and if so, how will that be determined by the judge?  What would the length of a new sentence depend upon?  To read a short article that discusses this issue, please click on the following link – https://www.greghillassociates.com/under-sb-1437-resentence-to-the-underlying-felony.html