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Eugene Criminal Attorney Round-up November 2017

In Eugene, Oregon (97401 and 97402), Veralrud and Fowler is a first choice in criminal attorneys. Their peerless expertise and legal erudition brings a voracious curiosity for the latest in criminal law news. When you are choosing a criminal defense lawyer, consider Veralrud and Fowler for their depth of knowledge, extensive experience, and friendly, accessible style. Also, consider that they take the time to read up on the latest legal news. That news is distilled down to its basic facts for your benefit, ready to be used you defend their clients against injustice and abuse.

In that spirit, here is the Criminal Law round-up for December, 2017.

People v. Page 

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is technical and bound up in legal language that can change when new laws are passed. In the case of the People v. Page, the laws changed in the middle of a sentence. The appellant Timothy Wayne Page was in prison under California Vehicle Code section 10851, which bars taking or driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent. After Proposition 47 (the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”) passed in 2014, several drug- and theft-related offenses were downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors. Among them were felonies which involved the theft of items worth less than $950. In these cases the court considered the theft to be petty theft and thus punishable as a misdemeanor. Page and his lawyers believed that Page should be eligible for resentencing under The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act since the car Page had used was worth less than $950. The trial court ruled that Page was ineligible for resentencing because Proposition 47 didn’t apply to California Vehicle Code section 47. However, once the question reached the California Supreme Court, it was determined that though California Vehicle Code 10851 was not explicitly named in Proposition 47, in some cases the court had ruled that a violation of California Vehicle Code 10851 constituted theft, and that Page had the right to appeal for resentencing.

People v. Sandoval

In this interesting case, we find a domestic violence victim petitioning the court, along with her abusive husband, to amend a order of no contact to allow contact initiated by the victim. Marco Antonio Sandoval was convicted of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse resulting in a traumatic condition and making a criminal threat. The charges were based on an incident where Sandoval punched his wife, choked her to unconsciousness, and threatened to kill her. After the incident, Sandoval plead down to a suspended prison sentence, three years probation, and the rest of the counts against him dismissed. The court imposed an order of no contact on Sandoval as part of the terms of the plea deal. Under the provisions of the order, Sandoval’s wife A. H. was not allowed any contact with Sandoval, even if she initiated the contact. When the case made it to the court of appeal, it was found that while prohibiting any contact initiated by Page was acceptable, prohibiting contact initiated by A. H. constituted a violation of her rights to free association and marital privacy.

Smith v. City of Santa Clara

This case revolves around the full power of the terms of a person’s probation. When police went looking for Justine Smith, they were fairly certain they would find her at the home of Josephine Smith, her mother. Over the course of the investigation into a stabbing and car theft, it was found that Justine Smith was already on probation, the terms of which allowed police to execute warrantless searches of any residences she resided in. The appellant, Josephine Smith, refused officers entry into her home, claiming that their actions constituted violated her constitutional rights, being unreasonable search and seizure. She also claimed that, under the Bane Act, which protects citizens from threats, intimidation, and coercion and from attempts to interfere with someone’s constitutionally-protected rights, police were required to produce a warrant if she as a resident demanded it. Claiming protection under the Bane Act also requires the person making the claim show that the violation they were a victim of stem from a “hate motivation.” The California Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal found that the required motivation was not present, and that the search of the premises was not pushed forward on the basis of Josephine Smith being a member of a protected class, as well as finding that warrantless searches in situations such as Josephine Smith’s were not unusual.

US v. Sanchez Molinar

In this case affirming the sentence of Rogelio Sanchez Molinar, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Molinar qualified for sentence enhancement under the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual due to armed robbery being a “crime of violence.” Recent precedent in Arizona has established that armed robbery is no longer a categorical crime of violence, which would have effected the application of the United States sentencing guidelines since the enhancement was based of previous convictions for violent crimes. The court found that, though the precedent-setting case shared some similarities with the case in question, the aggravating circumstances in Molinar’s case justified the sentence enhancement completely. This case will set further precedents, narrowing the scope of the law in the process and helping later courts better serve the people.

Eugene Defense Attorneys Work For You

When you need a criminal defense attorney in Eugene, Oregon, it’s time to call Veralrud Fowler. Our experienced, talented legal minds are ready to take your case and give you the best possible chance of getting justice. We work with defendants all over the Eugene area, providing them with criminal defense that works. Don’t go it alone.

If you are looking to file an appeal in a criminal case, we are here to help. Appeals can be complicated things, and though many of our clients may have a “gut feeling” that something is wrong with the ruling in their case, it takes research and understanding of the legal world to zero in on just where the miscarriage of justice occurred. Veralrud and Fowler keeps up on all the latest in criminal defense news to give you the best chance of winning your appeal. Call us today for a free consultation.

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