Articles Tagged with California Superior Court

WHAT IS FRAUD? (UNDERSTANDING AND FIGHTING A FRAUD CASE)

Most of us are familiar with terms like “theft” and “forgery” given that they immediately bring to mind the taking of something that does not belong to someone or making a misrepresentation in writing. When we hear the term “fraud”, we are often left confused by the exact meaning. 

Fraud, technically speaking, is defined as: “A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment. Fraud includes any intentional or deliberate act to deprive another of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means.” In other words, fraud is wrongful deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

FELONY MURDER RULE RELIEF (SB 1437)

On September 30,  2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1437. SB 1437 became known as the Felony Murder Rule effectively changing the rules for how California charges felony murders.

Prior to SB 1437, California law allowed a defendant to be convicted of first-degree murder in the commission of a felony even if the defendant did not intend to kill the victim or did not know a murder took place. This means that in the commission of a residential burglary, for instance, if someone were killed as a result of the incident a getaway driver would be charged with and convicted or murder even if they had not stepped into the scene of the crime. This former broader law meant hundred of convictions of murder for individuals who never intended on seeing someone harmed in the commission of a felony act.

Governor Gavin Newsom and Inmate Releases Amid Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Since assuming office in January 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom has proven himself a firm proponent of broader criminal justice reforms. He has been supportive of bills to address prison overcrowding and rehabilitative/reentry measures for California prison inmates. 

Since the announcement of the California Major Disaster Declaration due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on March 22, 2020; much focus has been placed on prison sentence commutations and alternative sentences. Specifically when it comes to prison releases, within weeks of the emergency Governor Newsom had commuted sentences of 21 California prison inmates and granted pardons to half a dozen others. This includes over a dozen inmates convicted of homicides. As Coronavirus spreads into the prison system, the Governor’s office has taken immediate measures to reduce crowding and protect the population’s health.

How Long Can I File A Petition To Resentence Under Prop 47?

On November 4, 2014 California voters passed Proposition 47, known as the Criminal Sentences, Misdemeanor Penalties, Initiative Statute. This referendum – also called the Safe Neighborhoods and School Act – recategorized some nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies. These offenses included crimes of theft, fraud, and drug possession.

The objective of Prop 47 was to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prison system and provide an opportunity for nonviolent offenders to obtain release and rehabilitation services. Monies saved as a result of Prop 47 would be allocated toward education and dropout prevention, mental health treatment, and drug abuse programs. All meant to keep offenders out of the prison system.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) AND MY CASE (TRIAL OR APPEAL)

The rapidly expanding pandemic crisis of COVID-19 has had sweeping effects on everyday life. Due to Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommendations California has taken immediate measures to protect the public by enforcing social distancing and restrictions of gatherings of more than ten (10) people. This has meant immediate actions by the California Supreme Court and the California Superior Courts. Trial and Appeal Courts have moved to cease operations by closing doors and postponing pending matters. In the Los Angeles Superior Court, only critical in-custody matters with substantive pending hearings are being dispositioned. All other matters – trial or otherwise – are being continued by the Court for 30-45 days. 

With the CDC recommending drastic changes in American lifestyle to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, it is uncertain if the Courts will resume normal operations in the next 60-90 days. 

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