Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Victory in my Latest Criminal Appeal

The First District Court of Appeal, Division Four, recently issued an opinion in a criminal appeal of a conviction for California Vehicle Code section 10851(a) - Unlawful Driving of a Vehicle. The case name was People v. Martinez and the jury trial took place in Contra Costa County. I was appointed to represent the appellant in the case.

On appeal, I raise one issue, that the trial judge inserted an variant jury instruction that confused the jury and impermissibly lessened the burden of proof for the prosecution. After oral arguments, the court of appeal agreed with my argument and reversed the verdict and remanded the case back to the trial court.

The opinion is presently unpublished, however, I requested that the court consider publishing the opinion to discourage other District Attorneys from seeking to insert variant language into the standard CALCRIM instructions.

The opinion can be seen here

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