Criminal Law

Daily criminal law and procedure case summaries, brought to you by
  1. (United States First Circuit) - Affirming the conviction of a man for charges relating to a his procurement of government contracts for his construction company on the false pretense that the company was owned and controlled by military veterans who became disabled in connection with their military service.
  2. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Affirming the convictions of a man for sex trafficking, rejecting the defendant's arguments relating to the meaning of force and fraud and challenging the decision to exclude certain evidence relating to the women's sexual histories because while the Confrontation Clause offers an opportunity for effective cross examination, the judge retainst wide latitude to impose reasonable limitations to avoid harassment, prejudice, confusion of issues, and other abuses.
  3. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Affirming a district court judgment that the government's certification of civil commitment a decade after a man's incarceration for using interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity with a minor and more than eight years after the passage of the Adam Walsh Act, holding that the decision was not subject to the four year catchall statute of limitations on civil actions because this limitation does not apply to civil commitment proceedings.
  4. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Vacating the sentence of a man for distribution of heroin who received a career offender enhancement because the court determined that West Virginia's criminal offense of unlawful wounding is not a crime of violence under the US Sentencing Guidelines' force clause and remanding for resentencing.
  5. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirming convictions by a jury of two defendants for robbery involving bank customers at ATMs. Evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, the existence of an identity theft statute did not preclude conviction for robbery, language used in jury instructions did not create prejudice, and there was no abuse of discretion in charging the crimes as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, but the sentencing order and abstract of judgment did not properly reflect the imposed sentence, so it was ordered corrected.
  6. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the district court's dismissal of an action challenging the California law criminalizing the commercial exchange of sexual activity, holding that there was not a liberty interest preventing the criminalization, prostitute/client relationships were not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and prostitution did not constitute protected commercial speech under the First Amendment.
  7. (United States Third Circuit) - Affirming the imposition of a career-offender enhancement in the sentence of a man convicted of unarmed bank robbery because a conviction for bank robbery by intimidation is categorically a crime of violence.
  8. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirming that a trial court probation condition requiring that a woman convicted of possessing meth amphetamines for sale maintain a residence approved by her probation officer was not unconstitutional and affirming the decision in an in camera hearing and denial of a motion for disclosure of police personnel records as proper.
  9. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the conviction of a man for manufacturing concentrated cannabis and possession of an assault weapon who alleged violation of his Fourth Amendment rights in the admission of evidence recovered when police searched his home while responding to a call that he was about to shoot himself because, under the circumstances, a search of his home was a reasonable exercise of the officers' community caretaking duty.
  10. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Vacating the sentence and remanding for resentencing in a case where the district court determined a prior conviction for drug conspiracy qualified as a 'controlled substance offense' because the Washington law included conduct that would not be covered under federal law, so the district court erred in determining that this constituted a controlled substance offense.
  11. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the convictions of two defendants for first degree murder because the court did not err in its introduction of one defendant's jailhouse confession and by failing to instruct on the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter because his confession was made to a fellow prisoner, not to a government agent, and the instruction as to manslaughter was not justified given the insufficient evidence to support it.
  12. (United States First Circuit) - Affirming the sentence in the case of a man convicted for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and heroin who the district court held did not qualify as a career offender following a detailed analysis of the predicate offenses.
  13. (United States First Circuit) - Reversing and Remanding an order dismissing counts in an indictment charging three defendants involving the dispensing of misbranded drugs in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the judge's analysis involved several out-of-place factual assumptions that led to an incorrect finding regarding the sufficiency of an indictment.
  14. (California Court of Appeal) - Reversing the judgment in a criminal case because the police created an atmosphere equivalent to a formal arrest when they questioned a suspect in isolation behind closed doors in a police station interrogation room, triggering Miranda, and the court prejudicially erred by admitting evidence obtained in this context.
  15. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the conviction and sentencing of a defendant for fraud and conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme because the dismissal of a juror who felt they were poisoned, perhaps by another juror, was not improper, and sentencing errors were disregarded because the defendant had waived the right to appeal them.