Nonmutual Collateral Estoppel Does Not Apply to Verdicts in Criminal Cases

By: Wallin & Klarich

The California Supreme Court has overruled a 35-year-old court precedent that allowed defendants in criminal trials to assert nonmutual collateral estoppel. (People v. Sparks, Feb. 8, 2010, No. S164614.) The high court ruled that a verdict regarding one defendant has no effect on the trial of a different defendant because courts should determine the propriety …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

California’s DNA Testing Procedures Questioned by the U.S. Supreme Court – Protect Your Sixth Amendment Rights

By: Wallin & Klarich

In 2007, the California Supreme Court held that a DNA expert could testify about evidence from a test he or she did not perform. (People v. Geier (2007) 41 Cal.4th 555). This state has followed a long established practice where supervisors testify about lab tests, instead of technicians who actually tested forensic evidence. However, the …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

Two Elected San Bernardino County Officials Charged with Bribery and Why You Need an Experienced Southern California Defense Attorney to Represent You – California Penal Code Section 641

By: Wallin & Klarich

It was recently reported that two San Bernardino officials have been charged with over a dozen felony counts, including bribery and misappropriation of public funds. Former Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and former Assistant County Assessor Jim Erwin are accused of accepting $100,000 apiece from land development company Colonies Partners to settle a lawsuit …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

Discretionary Procedural Rulings In Appellate Matters Are Not Automatically Inadequate For the Purposes of the Adequate State Ground Doctrine

By: Wallin & Klarich

In answering the question of whether discretionary procedural rulings are “automatically inadequate” to bar federal habeas corpus review, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that a state procedural rule is not automatically “inadequate” under the adequate state ground doctrine because the state rule is discretionary rather than mandatory. ﴾Beard v. Kindler ﴾Dec. 8, 2009﴿ …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

I am Accused of Corporal Injury on a Child – What Should I Do? – California Penal Code Section 273d

By: Wallin & Klarich

Anyone who has been charged with corporal injury on a child, under California Penal Code Section 273d, should be prepared to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to examine all the circumstances surrounding your case to secure the most favorable result. Corporal injury on a child is …

Posted In: Corporal Injury On A Child

California Court of Appeal Clarifies “Force” Requirement of False Imprisonment – PC Section 236-237

By: Wallin & Klarich

In the recent case of People v. Santos Dominguez (2010) 2010 WL 60237 (hereafter Dominguez), the California Court of Appeal held that the amount of force required for false imprisonment of an unresisting infant or child is the amount of physical force required to take and carry the child away a substantial distance for an …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

A Person Can be Convicted of Burglary of the Apartment Which He Leases: California Penal Code Section 459

By: Wallin & Klarich

Recently, a California appellate court has concluded that even if you have a signed lease to enter your apartment, that may not constitute a complete defense to burglary when there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the defendant did not have “an unconditional possessory interest” in the apartment rented with another person at the time …

Posted In: Burglary

The Proper Use of Police Officers’ Emergency Lights When Pursuing Traffic Offenders in California – California Vehicle Code 2800.1

By: Wallin & Klarich

In California, “an officer must activate a red light when in pursuit of a traffic offender who attempts to flee.” (People v. Copass (Dec. 14, 2009, No. B211281) 2009 WL 4757252 (hereafter Copass).) But what if a police officer loses a traffic offender during a pursuit and deactivates the light, only to moments later spot …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals

Trial Judge Has the Power to Subpoena Jurors that May Have Been Involved in Misconduct

By: Wallin & Klarich

In a recent California Court of Appeals case (People v. Tuggles) the court ruled that the trial judge has the power to subpoena any juror that he or she feels may have been involved in misconduct during the trial. The judge can do so at the request of the defense or of the prosecution. California …

Posted In: Clearing Your Criminal Record

Evading a Police Officer in California, Vehicle Code Section 2800.2: How Knowing the Law Could Spare You Jail Time

By: Wallin & Klarich

In California, a police officer does not have to be behind you with his or her lights on in order to pull you over. A recent California Court of Appeals case (People v. Pakes) held that the police only need to make a reasonable effort to overtake your vehicle in order to technically be in …

Posted In: Criminal Appeals