Wednesday, July 09, 2014

People v. Juarez (Cal. Ct. App. - July 9, 2014)

You can only file a felony complaint twice.  That stops the prosecution from (1) getting around the speedy trial rules, and (2) forum-shopping for a different judge.  So you can file a felony complaint once, and dismiss it (or have it dismissed by an unsympathetic judge), and then refile it yet again.  But after that, you're done.  No refiling it a third time.

The Court of Appeal nonetheless holds here that it's okay under this rule to, for the same set of facts, (1) file a murder charge, (2) dismiss it, (3) file another murder charge (the same offense), (4) dismiss it, (5) file a conspiracy to commit murder charge, (6) dismiss it, (7) refile the conspiracy charge, (8) dismiss it, (9) file an attempted murder charge, (10) dismiss it, (11) file another attempted murder charge, (12) dismiss it, (13) file a charge of voluntary manslaughter, (14) dismiss it, (15) file another voluntary manslaughter charge, (16) dismiss it, (17) file attempted voluntary manslaughter, (18) dismiss it, (19) refile it, (20) try conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter, etc. etc. etc.  (I think I could get up to around sixty or so major charges, but you get the point.)

That's okay.  It's permissible under the statute.  "Our hands are tied."