May 22, 2023


CA 1st Appellate District Decision re Required Foundation to Trigger Presumptive Lower Sentencing Based on Youth:
April CA 1st District of Appeal case holding that in order to invoke Penal Code section 1170 (b)(6)(B)’s presumptive imposition of the lower sentencing term, an initial showing must be made that the defendant’s youth contributed to the crime. In this case, defendant was 23 years-old when she was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of marijuana for sale.  She pleaded no contest and was placed on probation per the plea agreement.  Three years later she admitted a probation violation.  The trial court revoked her probation and sentenced her to the middle term: a five-year stint in the local prison.  The Defendant appealed arguing that the trial court abused its discretion when it failed to follow Penal Code section 1170(b)(6)(B) sentencing requirements to impose the lower term if the defendant’s youth was a contributing factor of the crime’s commission. The appellate court upheld the trial court’s sentence and agreed that trial court was NOT required to follow section 1170 (b)(6)(B)’s guidelines because there was nothing in the record demonstrating that the defendant’s youth was a contributing factor to her offense.  Accordingly, there was no abuse of discretion.

CA 4th Appellate District Decision Upholding Preclusion of Convicted Felons from Possessing Firearms
A recent CA 4th Appellate District decision rejecting a convicted felon’s constitutional challenge of statutes prohibiting the possession of firearms and ammunition.  The underlying basis for the ruling is that the Second Amendment does not apply to the rights of non-law-abiding-citizens.  The two statutes in question, Penal Code Sections 29800(a)(1) and 30305(a)(1), were found NOT to implicate the Second Amendment since the possession of arms does not protect the rights of felons.  The appellate court does a good job of exploring the impact of the recent Bruen and HellerU.S. Supreme Court decisions on attempts to regulate citizens’ right to bear arms.