August 5, 2021 By Stephen Klarich

If The Trial Court Makes An Error, You Have A Good Shot At Having Your Conviction Reversed

If you or a loved one is convicted of a crime in California, it is critical you retain an experienced criminal appeals lawyer to try to obtain a new trial in the case. Many people are sentenced to prison for many years after being convicted of a serious crime. If the conviction is reversed it means that the prison sentence is “washed away” and you or your loved one will have a new chance to obtain a not guilty verdict at a new trial.

In a recent California Supreme Court case, a child trafficker got his sentences reduced after his attorney’s embraced a nuanced subclause in the California Penal Code.    

The Case of People vs. Antonio Moss

Antonio Moses, III was sentenced by a court to 24 years in prison after he wasLittle Girl Minor Scared to be trafficked Wallin & Klarich Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers convicted by a jury of trafficking a minor and attempting to pimp a minor. In an attempt to get conviction and sentence reversed, Moses’ criminal appeals law firm argued that the sting operation, which used an adult decoy acting as a minor to catch Moses in the act, did  not satisfy the requirements of Penal Code 236.1(c), which maintains that the victim had to be “a person who is a minor at the time of the commission of the offense.”

Adult Decoys Justify a “Mistake of Age” Defense

While reviewing the language of Penal Code 236.1, the Supreme Court of California held that the mistake of fact language from Penal Code 236.1(f) can not be used by prosecutors in a  human trafficking case under Penal Code 236.1(c) when the alleged minor victim is an adult decoy. Consequently, the defense of  “mistake of age” can be used by the defendant in his trial who is facing a charge of  Penal Code 236.1(c) when the alleged victim is an adult decoy. 

In Moses’ case, the alleged human trafficking victim was an undercover adult decoy. However, the jury in Moses’ original case was wrongly instructed that a mistake of age was not a defense to the aforementioned charge. 

An Incorrect Jury Instruction Could Be Your Ticket Out!

The Court reviewed Moses’ case to determine if the wrong jury instruction was a “harmless error” or if the error prevented Moses from receiving a fair trial. The Court concluded that the error by the trial court in giving an improper jury instruction required Moses’ conviction to be reversed. This meant his 24-year prison sentence was thrown out and he has the right to a new trial where the correct legal instructions will be given to the jury who sits in judgment of his case. 

Contact An Experienced Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been convicted of a crime do not give up the fight. We have a team of criminal appeals attorneys at Wallin and Klarich who have been fighting for our client’s freedom for over 40 years. We will be there when you call.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney to help you no matter where you are located. 

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-4279 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. 

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