No new criminal cases yesterday

April 7, 2017 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes issued no new criminal cases yesterday.

No opinions last Thursday or next Monday

March 31, 2017 Comments off

The Cal. Supremes issued no new criminal cases yesterday, Thursday, and won’t issue any new ones next Monday.

A Penal Code section 1016.5 advisement does not bar a motion to withdraw a plea

March 28, 2017 Comments off

A Penal Code section 1016.5 advisement does not bar a motion to withdraw a plea

After pleading guilty to a drug possession charge, Ron Douglas Patterson, a Canadian citizen who has lived in the United States since his admission to this country in 1996, learned that the plea rendered him subject to mandatory deportation.  Patterson filed a timely motion to withdraw the plea under Penal Code section 1018 on grounds of mistake or ignorance.  The trial court denied the motion, concluding it was legally insufficient because Patterson had received the standard statutory advisement that a criminal conviction “may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States.”  (Pen. Code, § 1016.5, subd. (a).)  The Court of Appeal affirmed.

In People v. Superior Court (Giron) (1974) 11 Cal.3d 793, 798 (Giron), this court held that a defendant’s ignorance that a guilty plea will render him deportable may constitute good cause to withdraw the plea under Penal Code section 1018.  The question now before us is whether receipt of the standard statutory advisement that a criminal conviction “may” have adverse immigration consequences (Pen. Code, § 1016.5), bars a noncitizen defendant from seeking to withdraw a guilty plea on that basis.  We conclude that the section 1016.5 advisement creates no such bar.  We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal and remand to permit the trial court to determine whether, after considering all relevant factors, Patterson has shown good cause for withdrawing his plea.

People v. Patterson

S225193

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S225193.PDF

Possession of access cards is covered by Prop. 47

March 28, 2017 Comments off

Possession of access cards is covered by Prop. 47

 

When California voters approved Proposition 47, they enacted statutory provisions with the purpose of reducing punishment for a broad range of crimes previously classified as felonies.  What this case requires us to decide is whether theft of access card account information — an offense that includes theft of credit and debit card information — is one of the crimes eligible for reduced punishment.  We hold that it is.  Although theft of access card information differs in some ways from other forms of theft, Proposition 47 broadly reduced punishment for “obtaining any property by theft” where the value of the stolen information is less than $950.  (Penal Code, § 490.2, subd. (a).) And while Proposition 47 does not specify a particular valuation test for this $950 threshold, the Penal Code section that defines theft says that “the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test” for determining the value of stolen property.  (§ 484, subd. (a).)  What we hold in light of this provision and Proposition 47 is that section 490.2’s value threshold must be applied using this “reasonable and fair market value” test.  Moreover, courts may consider evidence related to the possibility of illicit sales when determining the market value of stolen access card information.  We therefore affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

People v. Romanowski

S231405

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S231405.PDF

Coming Monday

March 24, 2017 Comments off

Coming Monday from the Cal. Supremes:

 

PEOPLE v. PATTERSON (RON DOUGLAS)

S225193 (E060758; Riverside County Superior Court – RIF1201642)

Argued in San Francisco 1-05-17

 

This case presents the following issue:  Was defendant entitled to withdraw his plea (Pen. Code, § 1018) because his trial counsel assertedly provided constitutionally inadequate assistance of counsel during plea negotiations by failing to investigate and advise defendant of the immigration consequences of his plea?

 

PEOPLE v. ROMANOWSKI (DANIEL)

S231405 (B263164; Los Angeles County Superior Court – MA064403)

Argued in San Francisco 1-05-17

 

This case presents the following issue:  Does Proposition 47 (“the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”), which reclassifies as a misdemeanor any grand theft involving property valued at $950 or less (Pen. Code, § 490.2), apply to theft of access card information in violation of Penal Code section 484e, subdivision (d)?

Burglary with intent to commit identity theft is a misdemeanor shoplift under Prop. 47 if the intent was to commit theft

March 23, 2017 Comments off

Burglary with intent to commit identity theft is a misdemeanor shoplift under Prop. 47 if the intent was to commit theft

 

In 2014, Proposition 47 created the new crime of “shoplifting,” defined as entering an open commercial establishment during regular business hours with the intent to commit “larceny” of property worth $950 or less.  (Pen. Code, § 459.5, subd. (a).)  This provision is related to the general burglary statute, which also applies to an entry with intent to commit “larceny” or any felony.  (Pen. Code, § 459.)  In 1927, the theft statutes were consolidated.  (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 490a; see Stats. 1927, ch. 619, §§ 1, 7, pp. 1046-1047.)  Subsequent cases held the burglary statute included an entry with intent to commit nonlarcenous theft.  Here we hold the electorate similarly intended that the shoplifting statute apply to an entry to commit a nonlarcenous theft.  Thus, defendant’s act of entering a bank to cash a stolen check for less than $950, traditionally regarded as a theft by false pretenses rather than larceny, now constitutes shoplifting under the statute.  Defendant may properly petition for misdemeanor resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.18.

 

People v. Gonzales

S231171

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S231171.PDF

Coming tomorrow

March 22, 2017 Comments off

Coming tomorrow from the Cal. Supremes

 

PEOPLE v. GONZALES (GIOVANNI)

S231171 (D067554; Imperial County Superior Court – JCF32479)

Argued in San Francisco 1-04-17

 

This case presents the following issue:  Was defendant entitled to resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.18 on his conviction for second degree burglary either on the ground that it met the definition of misdemeanor shoplifting (Pen. Code, § 459.5) or on the ground that section 1170.18 impliedly includes any second degree burglary involving property valued at $950 or less?