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In passing Assembly Bill 813, California has now joined 44 other states nationwide in allowing a person who has suffered a criminal conviction to challenge that conviction, even though he or she is no longer in custody.

The new statutes allows relief based on 1) a claim of actual innocence; and 2) failure to fully understand the consequences of the plea.

Although the statute applies to both citizens and non-citizens, in practice, this statute is expected to allow immigrants to seek relief for past convictions which hold devastating immigration consequences.

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Until recently, the Federal Government and the State of California defined criminal “misdemeanors” differently. While the federal government defined a misdemeanor as a crime punishable by up to 364 days, California defined it as one punishable by up to 365 days. This one-day difference often proved disastrous for immigrants with convictions, however, because the Federal government considers a crime punished by 365 days a felony and felony convictions often subject immigrants to deportation or exclusion.

In 1996 Congress enacted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which expanded the crimes for which legal residents can be deported to include crimes which were punished by 365 days. States which continued to defined misdemeanors as including sentences of 365 days unwittingly caused their immigrant-residents to face not only up to a year in jail, but deportation or exclusion from entry as well. This applied to all immigrants, regardless of whether a sentence was suspended or whether a person spent only a few days in jail.

Effective January 1, 2015, California Senate Bill 1310 changed the maximum misdemeanor sentence to mirror the Federal Government’s 364 days. Senate Bill 1242 then applied this change retroactively, allowing those who were sentenced before 2015 to receive the statute’s intended protection.

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According to prosecutors, 29 year-old Rico Christopher Clayton, of Carson, had allegedly recruited a woman to participate in prostitution on February 8th. He allegedly advertised her sex services online. On that same day, officers on the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force had responded to an online ad and arranged a meeting with the woman.

Clayton was allegedly seen dropping the woman off at a Fullerton motel where the meeting had been arranged with the undercover officer. Clayton had also allegedly made calls and sent text messages to the woman indicating that he was pimping her. Clayton was out on bail for another pimping charge in Los Angeles at the time.

He was charged on Monday with one felony count of pimping and pandering. He is facing sentencing enhancements for committing the crime while out on bail in addition to a previous strike conviction for burglary in 2007. If found guilty, Clayton faces up to 15 years in prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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A 36 year old man named Scott Patrick Cole of Newport Beach was booked into Orange County Jail on the suspicion of battery with serious bodily injury, trespassing, causing harm to an elder/dependent adult, and assault with a deadly weapon.

At around 4:30 p.m. officers got an assault call to the 800 block of West 15th St. After the officers arrived, they had made contact with a man, who fled to a nearby neighbor’s house for safety, said Jennifer Manzella, a Newport Beach police spokeswoman.

The unidentified victim was then taken to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries and was later released. Apparently, the victim and Cole were acquainted, Manzella said. The officers were trying to contact Cole at the residence where the assault had allegedly taken place, but Cole repeatedly refused to come to the front door, said Manzella, adding that Cole seemed extremely agitated and began breaking windows and throwing objects inside the victim’s home.

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Herbert Granados Calderon, 26, pleaded guilty this week to causing a fatal collision between three cars while intoxicated. An 18-year-old was killed and five others were injured in this crash. The crash occurred in Santa Ana, when Calderon was speeding on Bristol and ran a red light. He broadsided a Honda Civic thereby killing the person in the back seat.

Calderon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the 2014 collision.

He was charged with murder because he pleaded guilty in 2013 to another DUI, Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. In 2013 he was read a Watson Warning. The Watson Warning simply states that drunk driving is dangerous to human life and if the defendant continues drive drunk and someone dies, they can be charged with second degree murder. The warning is usually part of any DUI plea.

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The parents of an 8 year old boy have been charged with child endangerment after their son survived an overdose of heroin last month, according to police.

On January 11th the police responded to a call of a child not breathing at a home in a suburb of southwest Cleveland, Ohio. They found the boy unresponsive in the living room with his father doing chest compressions on him. The boy was transported to the hospital after an officer found a pulse. The parents, Charles Dowdy and Danielle Simko are suspected of narcotics use after drugs and syringes were found on the property, the police report stated.

The father had told police that he and the mother were in bed with their son when he noticed that the child’s lips were turning blue.

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Sherri Lynn Wilkins, a substance abuse counselor in California, hit a man with her vehicle and drove two miles with his body plastered to her windshield. Wilkins was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The 55 year old Wilkins had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and two counts of driving under the influence (DUI).

In 2014, Wilkins was found guilty on similar charges relating to the same crime, but an appeals court threw out the conviction based on the fact that her whole life’s criminal history had been admitted into trial and could have possibly caused prejudice with the jury.

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Two men, Jonathan Cephus, 36, and Melvin Collins, 33, are allegedly responsible for a long list of robberies that began on July 5, 2013. Cephus held up a Little Caesars in Fullerton, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon.

Cephus later pistol-whipped a man as he robbed a Del Taco in Anaheim on July 22nd. On July 26th, Cephus robbed a Jack in Box in Anaheim and on August 28th Cephus again robbed a Jack in the Box in Anaheim, Zimmon said.

Four more robberies took place on September 2, 2013. The first one happened at 7 a.m. at a Burger King in Buena Park, but Collins got scared away when the clerk mentioned that there were many surveillance cameras in the store, According to Zimmon.

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Angel Bronsgeest, a 55 year old woman from Lake Forest, plead guilty on Monday to federal charges of being involved in a real estate scam that cost Southern California investors $3.5 million, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Bronsgeest admitted that she, along with Shawn Watkins, a 46 year old man from Utah, would allegedly solicit the victims at Orange County hotel seminars and ask them to invest in their company, The Equity Growth Group. The two claimed that their company managed hundreds of properties, generating income from their rents, which was used to buy new properties. The investors were told they would be getting interest payments and that their money was secured by collateral through filing deeds of property trusts.

“Investor money was not used to acquire new properties, nor was it secured by collateral, and many victims did not receive interest payments. In fact, money that was paid to some victims as purported interest or a return on their investment came from investments made by other victims,” the Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

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Jane Maria Nicholson, a 25 year old transgender woman, was sentenced to more the 5 years in prison on Wednesday for engaging in sex acts with teenage boys, one of them only 13. She propositioned the boys on a street in North Torrance.

Authorities said that the boys did not know their female partner was biologically a male until they were contacted by detectives investigating a child molestation case.

Nicholson formerly served on the board of the South Bay LGBT center. In September 2015 in a Torrance CitiCable video news feature that was posted on YouTube, Nicholson said she was happy with her role helping gay, lesbian, and transgender people at the LGBT center at 16610 Crenshaw Blvd.