Friday, June 21, 2013

Double Jeopardy Clause Does Not Bar Retrial Of Felony Murder

     Arguing double jeopardy barred his retrial, the defendant moved for a dismissal of retrial of the felony murder charge after his implied acquittal of the predicate felony, to wit, armed robbery at trial.  The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice but in jeopardy of life or limb," and protects against successive prosecutions for the same offense after acquittal or conviction."  The court found that although this was a prosecution for the same offense, it not necessarily successive.   Henry v. Ryan (2013) U.S.C.A. 9th, DAR p. 7887.

Brought to courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, criminal defense attorney serving the greater Los Angeles, California area. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Justices Rule On Sobriety Testing

        The defendant refused a breath test after being stopped for speeding.  Without a warrant, the officer drove the defendant to a nearby hospital to withdraw blood from the defendant without first obtaining a search warrant.  The Missouri courts threw out the evidence on the grounds that the forced blood test was unconstitutional without a warrant.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that drawing a suspected drunken driver's blood usually calls for a warrant.  In an 8-1- decision, the justices rejected Missouri prosecutors' contention that the police should have the freedom to act quickly and dispense with a warrant because alcohol dissipates in the blood.  The court said that a blood test is an invasion of bodily integrity that implicates an individual's most personal and deep-rooted expectations of privacy.  (Missouri v. McNeely, April 2013)

     Brought to courtesy or the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, criminal defense attorney serving the greater Los Angeles area and surrounding counties. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Justices Deal Blow To Warrantless Dog Sniffs

     The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a firm blow to the admissibility of warrantless dog sniffs that take place in the area immediately surrounding a person's home.  In a 5-4 decision handed down March 26, 2013, the court ruled that drug dog alerting on the porch of a residence for which the police lacked a search warrant and exigent circumstance to enter was an illegal search.  (Florida v. Jardines No. 11-564)

      Brought to you courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, a criminal defense attorney serving the greater Los Angeles, California area.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Landmark Decision Turns 50

A destitute Gideon, charged with burglary had no money for a lawyer.  He politely asked the judge to appoint him one, the judge denied his request, so Gideon conducted his defense about as well as could be expected from a layman and was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.  In prison, using a pencil Gideon drafted a petition challenging the judge's refusal to appoint him a lawyer, citing the Sixth Amendment which provided, in part, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."  The Florida State Supreme Court denied his challenge, surprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court accepted review.  The Court held that lawyers in the criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries, and without a lawyer, a man "though he be not guilty, faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence."  The Supreme Court ruled that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to assistance of counsel.  Gideon was appointed an attorney and was acquitted in his re-trial.    [Gideon v. Wainwright, USSC 3-18-1963] 

Brought courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, criminal defense attorney serving the greater Los Angeles, California area.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Legal Team Mislead Convicted Rapist, Witnesses Testify

     Andrew Luster, the great-grandson of cosmetics magnate Max Factor, was convicted in absentia and is in court now seeking a reduction in his 124-year sentence, as well as a new trial.  A state appeals court last spring agreed that Luster's unusually long sentence should be reconsidered in light of claims he was poorly represented "in a textbook case of grasping lawyers seeking fame and fortune."  He failed to comprehend that he could be sentenced for more than 100 years, and accepting the realistic deal of 8-12 year plea deal was made more difficult by a member of his defense team who misled Luster by "painting a picture that was pure fantasy."  While another member of the team told him to flee the country.  That attorney died in 2011.  Judge granted motion for new sentencing.

        Brought to you courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, a criminal defense attorney, serving the greater Los Angeles Area, Orange County and Ventura County.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Trial Probable In Felony Murder Case

        The state Supreme Court will probably grant a new trial to a man convicted of murder who received a 25-years-to-life sentence after the stove he had stolen more than an hour before fell from the back of a his truck, leading to a motorist's death.  The case concerns the felony murder rule, which makes a defendant liable for murder if he or an accomplice kills someone during the act of perpetuating certain felonies, even if the death is accidental.  The court appeared ready to clarify that a felonious act definitively ends when the perpetrator has reached a place of temporary safety.  We'll keep tabs on the outcome of this case.

Brought you courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik, criminal law practice serving the greater Los Angeles Area.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Car Stolen Twice --- By Same Man

     This man must of really wanted a 2005 Bentley Coupe -- he was arrested twice in four days with the same stolen car.   The police spotted the luxury car parked in a modest neighborhood, and when they checked the registration, they discovered it was reported stolen.  The driver was arrested on felony suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and was released on bail.  Two days, later, the driver had gotten the coupe back -- apparently by tricking someone at the tow truck yard, drove back to the area where he was first spotted in the car and was arrested again. 

     Brought to you courtesy of the Law Offices of Arna H. Zlotnik a criminal defense attorney serving the greater Los Angeles area, including downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, the San Fernando Valley, East Los Angeles, Westside and the South Bay.  Please contact us today to see that justice will prevail and your constitution rights are protected.  Misdemeanor or felony.