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Articles by David Reutter

California Court of Appeal Vacates Conviction Because Generic Immigration Consequences Warning Insufficient for Defendant to Understand Mandatory Immigration Consequences as a Result of Guilty Plea

by David M. Reutter

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, reversed a defendant’s 2010 conviction for possession for sale of methamphetamine, Health & Saf. Code, § 11378, based on its finding that the defendant was not properly apprised by the trial court of the immigration consequences that ...

Indirect DNA Transfer Can Result in Miscarriages of Justice

DNA Evidence Is Not as Infallible in Identifying Perpetrator as Most Believe

by David M. Reutter

Deoxyribonucleic acid (“DNA”) is regarded as the “gold standard” of forensic evidence. It is considered to be virtually indisputable evidence by juries and even judges when presented to identify an individual as having contact ...

Vaccine Passports Raise Privacy Issues and Create a Class of Undesirables

by David M. Reutter

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the liberty of citizens worldwide when it was at its zenith in 2020. It continues to have ramifications, and its next assault may be upon your right to privacy if vaccine passports become the norm.

The initial government response to the ...

California Court of Appeal: Exclusion of Expert Witness at SVP Trial as Remedy for Discovery Violation Constitutes Denial of Constitutional Due Process

by David M. Reutter

The Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, concluded that a trial court erred by excluding the defense’s only expert witness from testify in a civil commitment proceeding under the Sexually Violent Predator (“SVP”) Act, Welfare and Institutions Code § 6600, et seq., thereby denying ...

California Court of Appeal: New Law Requiring Bifurcated Trial on Gang Enhancements Applies Retroactively

by David M. Reutter

The Court of Appeal of California, Sixth Appellate District, held that Assembly Bill No. 333, which changed the law on gang-related offenses, applies retroactively. The Court’s opinion reversed the judgments of convictions and remanded for new trials where the issue of guilt is bifurcated from the ...

Sixth Circuit: Government Cannot Withdraw Consent to Lesser Included Charge After Defendant Pleaded Guilty but Court Reject Plea Agreement

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a plea agreement, as written, does not provide the basis for the Government to withdraw consent to a lesser included, but not indicted, offense where the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ...

Prosecutorial Extortion: Alleged Drug Dealer Agrees to $300,000 Seizure in Face of Charges Threatened Against Entire Family

by David M. Reutter

When civil asset forfeiture laws were made applicable to criminal defendants, the purpose was to ensure criminals lost the illicit gains from their criminal activities after conviction. A case in Kentucky shows how prosecutors can use their unbridled charging discretion to force defendants to agree to ...

Fourth Circuit: South Carolina Marijuana Law Not a Categorical Match to Federal Law for ACCA Sentencing

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a defendant’s convictions under South Carolina law for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in proximity to a school are not a categorical match under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) because the state’s ...

Tenth Circuit: Guilty Plea Not Knowing and Voluntary Because Sentencing Court Failed to Ask Follow Up Questions After Defendant Said He’s Off His Medication and ‘Mind Isn’t Right’

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit vacated a defendant’s guilty plea after finding the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma failed to ensure that his plea was knowingly and voluntarily made.

John Michael McIntosh pleaded guilty to five counts of ...

Ohio Justice Calls for Plea Bargaining Reform to End ‘Sentencing by Ambush’

by David M. Reutter

In an article that appeared in the Akron Law Review, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Donnelly detailed his experience, concerns, and solutions to create a fair playing field in the arena of plea bargaining. He called for an end to “sentencing by ambush” after ...



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