The Passing Of Long Beach Criminal Attorney Jay Glaser

The Long Beach legal community remains in mourning over the death of Jay Glaser, a longtime pillar in the criminal defense bar.  His death at his age was indeed unexpected and he will be missed.  I am one that believes more attention should be given to the passing of criminal defense lawyers, whether they be private or public.  Like police officers, defense lawyers are protectors of the Constitution and play an integral role in the system, protecting the rights of the accused and ensuring that all people have access to the Courts for violations of their rights.

There is a monument outside of City hall that pays tribute to the fallen police officers in the community, I believe there should be a monument for defense attorneys as well.

Police May Not Impound Car As Ruse To Search

Though not a Long Beach case, this recent appeals case out of the Federal Court bears some resemblance to many scenarios in the city.

Here, the police conducted surveillance of appellant and others relative to drug activity, appellant’s car was stopped. When appellant could not produce a driver’s license he was seized and an inventory search of the vehicle was conducted, during which cocaine was found. The DMV later confirmed appellant did have a valid license. The district court denied appellant’s motion to suppress, finding his vehicle had been lawfully impounded and the search conducted under the community caretaking exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. Held: Reversed. The search was not valid under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement because officers lacked probable cause for the search. The officer’s conclusory statement that appellant was followed from a suspected “narcotics stash house” without more, is entitled to little weight. Further, appellant’s alleged “counter surveillance driving” did not support probable cause. Finally, the government failed to establish that impoundment of appellant’s vehicle was justified under the community caretaking exception, which allows officers to impound vehicles that jeopardize public safety and the flow of traffic. Once a vehicle has been lawfully impounded, officers may conduct an inventory search, provided it conforms to the standard practices of the local police department. However, an inventory search may not be used as a ruse to discover evidence of a crime. Here, there was no evidence that appellant’s car, which he stopped in a residential neighborhood, was parked illegally, impeded traffic, or was subject to theft/vandalism. Further, officers may not have complied with applicable procedure, which provides for impoundment immediately after arrest, as appellant was not arrested until after the search. (Veh. Code, § 14602.6, subd. (a)(1).) The search was therefore illegal.(ccap).  As any Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorney knows, the police will find any way to search if they believe the car has something illegal, here the court ruled they went too far.

Old DV Convictions Can Prevent You From Owning A Gun

It is a crime to possess a gun in Long Beach if you were previously convicted of a criminal offense of domestic violence.  California is tough on those convicted of domestic violence, the Feds are even tougher when it comes to taking away your right to own or possess a gun.  In this case, the Courts upheld the Federal Government’s rule that anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence is precluded from owning a firearm.

In 1996, the defendant was arrested for corporal injury on his wife and pled no contest to misdemeanor battery under section 242. In 2008, when he applied to be a reserve deputy sheriff, he learned that California considered his conviction to be a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) under the federal Gun Control Act, prohibiting him from the possession of a firearm. In 2011, when he attempted to purchase a firearm, his application was denied on the same ground. He filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the superior court challenging the classification of his prior conviction as an MCDV. The trial court determined that section 242 was not a valid categorical predicate offense for an MCDV and issued a writ of mandate and prohibition. Reversed. An offense that “has, as an element, the use . . . of physical force . . .” qualifies as an MCDV under the federal Gun Control Act. Any harmful or offensive touching, including the least touching, constitutes an element of battery under section 242. The Court of Appeal concluded that such touching is sufficient to constitute the “use of physical force” so as to render a section 242 conviction an MCDV. Looking at Congress’ intent in enacting the provisions of the federal Gun Control Act at issue, i.e. keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers, the appellate court found nothing to suggest that only those abusers who applied a specific quantum of force against their victims were prohibited from possessing firearms.  (Courtesy CCAP)..  It should be noted that there are cases out there that disagree with this Court’s application of the law.  Eventually the Supreme Court will chime in on this issue.

Court Finds That Arresting Cop’s Opinion Is Enough For Conviction Of Possession Of Marijuana For Sale

The law in California is clear, you can use marijuana if you have a doctor’s permission, you can grow it if you need it for a medical condition, but if you sell it, look out!.  In this case, the defendant was convicted for possession of pot for sale based solely on the arresting officer’s opinion.

Appellant was charged with possession of marijuana for sale. At trial, he presented evidence that he had a prescription for marijuana for treatment of a medical condition. The prosecution presented the testimony of the arresting officer who opined that the marijuana was possessed for purposes of sale. On appeal, appellant contended that the officer’s opinion testimony was insufficient to support the conviction because it was not established that he had the experience in differentiating those who possess marijuana lawfully for medical purposes from those who possess it unlawfully with the intent to sell. Affirmed. To the extent appellant argued that the officer’s expert opinion was inadmissible or insufficient because the officer was unqualified, the issue was forfeited for failure to object in the trial court. Despite the lack of objection, appellant can still argue on appeal that the evidence, including the officer’s opinion, was insufficient to support the conviction. Here, however, the court found that the evidence was sufficient. The officer’s training and experience established that he was trained in law enforcement and the policing of illegal drug possession, and the circumstances of the possession itself supported a finding that appellant possessed the marijuana with intent to sell; i.e., the packaging and categorizing by weight of the marijuana, indicia that appellant accepted cash only, appellant’s prior conviction for possession of marijuana for sale, and appellant’s current financial situation. (Courtesy CCAP)

Long Beach Courts are very suspicious of marijuana sales cases for caregivers, if you are not providing the to those with a legitimate medical recomedation, you may be in the sights of the local police