Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

okay so my boyfriend was sentenced to life in prison...they had offered him a 20 year deal or take it to trial but he thought he can beat his case so he took the trial instead....his case has to do with him shooting 2 guys that were from a rival gang but none of them have gotten injured it happened 6 years ago and in his case they have no evidence of the shooter being my boyfriend....no gun was found...no fingerprints no video nothing absolutely NOTHING the only evidence they had was the 2 guys words but during the trial those 2 guys had testified and said it wasnt my boyfriend that shot at them and that they didnt know why they had said that to the police 6 years ago and my boyfriend was really known 6 years ago when he was out because he was a big time rapper so alot of people knew him and he had alotta enemies at the same time too.....hes been in los angeles county jail for 6 years and last year since his case got going and they offered him the 20 year deal or take the trial like i said he took the trial and lost and has gotten sentenced for 25 to life....before he got sentenced he had a right to file a motion before his sentencing because they had found new evidence in his case and his lawyer told him the motion is most likely not going to be granted because they do that to everybody but we can still try...so a couple months ago the judge denied his motion and sentenced him...he just went to wasco reception a couple weeks ago...im wonder later on down the future is there still a chance of him to be able to get that life sentencing dropped or is there nothing else he can doo and thats it his life is done with?...because he told me the da and everything is different in prison cause its federal but the jury and da is different in the city courts...please somebody tell me is there ANYTHINGGGG we can do is there a chance he will get freedom one day or is this the end of his entire life... if somebody can help me with this itll be realllly helpful

Asked on 4/11/12, 5:45 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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There may still be time for your boyfriend to file an appeal, depending upon when he was sentenced. It's possible that his lawyer started the process for him already. He can also petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Often the best approach is to do both.

Nothing you have said suggests that he is likely to get his conviction or his sentence reversed, but with more facts I might see promising grounds he can raise.

Although you insist that there was no evidence tying him to the shooting, you acknowledge that the victims identified him as the shooter. That's powerful evidence, even though they later told a different story. Jurors who learn that the same witness told two contradictory stories do not have to accept the version that's more favorable to the defendant.

That the victims weren't injured is also unlikely to matter. Presumably your boyfriend was convicted of attempted murder and/or some other crime that does not require actual injury to the victim. Shooting at someone with the intent to injure or kill him is a serious crime even if you miss your target.

You seem to think that the plea bargain he turned down is reason to reduce his sentence, but it almost certainly isn't. He chose not to take the deal, and he's not entitled to demand the benefits of a bargain he refused to make.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss your boyfriend's case further. I am a certified appellate specialist (per the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization) with many years of experience in the Courts of Appeal.

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Answered on 4/11/12, 6:45 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless
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Trying to tell the case and arguments here is unnecessary. The only thing you can do that is productive, is to hire him an appellate attorney to review the case and possibly file an appeal on whatever legal and factual errors were made in the trial. There are time limits for doing so, don't delay. If serious about doing so, knowing that appeals are quite costly, feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 4/12/12, 12:18 pm

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