Criminal Law News
- [04/10] Police: Phoenix area man killed wife over HIV fear
- [04/10] Maine hermit suspected in 1,000 burglaries caught
- [04/10] Colorado officials find more court errors
White Collar Crime
Criminal Law & Procedure
[06/18] Lopez-Valenzuela v. County of Maricopa
The district court's summary judgment and partial dismissal of a class action challenging Proposition 100, a ballot measure passed by Arizona voters that amended the state constitution to preclude bail for certain serious felony offenses if the person charged has entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the charge, is affirmed, where: 1) the Arizona Legislature and Arizona voters passed Proposition 100 and its implementing statute and rules to further the state's legitimate and compelling interest in seeing that those accused of serious state-law crimes are brought to trial; and 2) plaintiffs had not succeeded in raising triable issues of fact as to whether Proposition 100 and its implementing procedures violate the substantive and procedural due process guarantees of the United States Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment, the Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, nor whether the Proposition 100 laws are preempted by federal immigration law.
[06/18] US v. Avery
The district court's denial of defendant's habeas corpus motion to vacate his sentence after he pled guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, is vacated and remanded, where: 1) defendant pled guilty only to honest services fraud and cannot be deemed to have been convicted or sentenced based on a broader charge that was not incorporated into the plea agreement and not acknowledged by defendant as true when he pled guilty; and 2) because the crime to which defendant pled guilty and for which he was incarcerated is no longer a criminal offense, petitioner’s actual innocence overcomes the procedural default of his claim challenging his conviction.
[06/18] US v. Gonzalez Vasquez
Defendant's conviction and sentence for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine are: 1) affirmed in part, where the record supports the district court's finding that no plea agreement was made, and there is no evidence of any promise upon which the defendant relied to his detriment; and 2) vacated and remanded as to the sentence, where the district court erred in treating defendant's suspended sentence for the prior conviction as a "sentence of probation of more than one year" under U.S.S.G. section 4A1.2(c)(1)(A), because the conditions of the defendant's suspended incarceration did not limit or require any conduct beyond that of a law abiding individual.
[06/18] People v. Fong
Defendant's sentence of 17 years per his plea agreement, and the trial judge's limit of credit to 15 percent, which translated into awarding defendant 608 days of actual custody credit and 91 days of conduct credit pursuant to Penal Code section 2933.1, is affirmed, where: 1) defendant was convicted of a felony in which he inflicted great bodily injury (GBI) on a non-accomplice, and the GBI enhancement was charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7; 2) section 667.5(c)(8)'s incorporation of section 12022.7 was not a time-specific incorporation; and consequently; 3) defendant is subject to section 2933.1's credit limiting provisions.
[06/18] People v. Nguyen
Defendant's conviction for burglary is affirmed, where: 1) there was substantial evidence to support a conviction for attempted theft by larceny where defendant picked up the laptop computers and placed them in the empty printer box with the intent of taking them from the store without paying the full laptop price; 2) the jury's implicit finding that defendant entered the store with the intent to commit theft, and therefore his conviction for burglary, was supported by substantial evidence; and 3) any error in failing to instruct the jury on theft by false pretenses was harmless, since an instruction on theft by false pretenses merely would have added another theory of theft on which the jury could have convicted him.
[06/17] People v. Sullivan
Defendant's robbery conviction is reversed, where: 1) double jeopardy bars a retrial on a substantive offense when jurors reached a verdict on the substantive offense but deadlocked as to an enhancement; 2) the trial court should have taken a verdict on the substantive offense and declared a mistrial as to the enhancement only; and 3) defendant received the ineffective assistance of counsel for counsel's failure to advise defendant to plead once in jeopardy.
[06/17] US v. Van Bommel Duyzing
Dismissal of a claim against the government for money recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard that was tossed into the Caribbean Sea while claimant and his crew were fleeing the U.S. Coast Guard, is: 1) affirmed in part, where claimant did not have the requisite ownership interest in the $8 million needed to establish standing in a forfeiture action; but 2) reversed in part, where claimant presented enough evidence to demonstrate constitutional standing to contest the forfeiture of the $10,000 found on his person.
[06/11] City of San Diego v. Boggess
The trial court's order for the seizure and destruction of defendant's firearms following a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 after her release from a facility at which she was detained for psychiatric evaluation under section 5150, is affirmed, where: 1) the trial court properly concluded that plaintiffs demonstrated that the return of the firearms to defendant would be likely to result in endangering defendant, or others, and they should not be returned to her, but forfeited and destroyed; and 2) section 8102 does not violate the Second or Fourteenth Amendment right to bear arms.
[05/01] US v. Mancuso
Convictions and sentence for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, distribution of cocaine, and two counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises are: 1) affirmed in part as to the possession charge where defendant's multiple challenges are rejected; 2) vacated in part, the distribution count because it was duplicitous in that it joined two or more distinct and separate offenses into a single count; 3) vacated in part as to the convictions for maintaining a drug-involved premises because the district court committed plain error by utilizing a "significant purpose” instruction rather than a "primary or principal use" instruction; and 4) affirmed in part, where the district court did not err in its drug quantity calculation or its determination that defendant did not qualify for a minor role reduction. On the government's cross-appeal, the district court erred in denying the government's forfeiture motion, because the district court's failure to inquire, before the jury began deliberating, whether either party requested a jury determination on the nexus between the property sought and the crime was harmless.
[04/26] US v. 4219 University Drive, Fairfax
Judgment that defendant properties owned by claimants were subject to civil forfeiture because the property derived from the proceeds of a health care fraud and money laundering scheme committed by claimants' son is affirmed, where the district court did not err in: 1) denying claimants' motion to dismiss; 2) denying claimants' motions to permit a witness and their son to testify remotely; 3) admitting their son's hearsay statements yet prohibiting the admission of their son's affidavit and letter to his attorney; 4) failing to give claimants' requested jury instructions; and 5) denying claimants' Rule 50 motion for judgment as a matter of law.
[04/02] US v. Walsh
Denial of criminal defendant's motion to release assets frozen in a parallel civil enforcement action is affirmed where the District Court properly applied the tracing analysis in US v. Banco Cafetero Panama.
[03/20] US v. Guerrero
District court's judgment for government involving two amounts in a civil forfeiture action is: 1) affirmed in part with regard to the judgment forfeiting the $2,971, where the government’s failure to provide timely notice of the forfeiture to the claimant as to both amounts, did not require the government to return the property where the government subsequently commenced a forfeiture proceeding; but 2) vacated and remanded in part, where a) the district court's dismissal of the claim for the $11,500, based on the claimant's failure to identify the bailor, was an abuse of discretion, primarily because the omission did not prejudice the government, did not appear to be calculated, and did not delay or extend the forfeiture proceedings, and b) there was a genuine issue of material fact whether the $11,500 was derived legitimately.
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