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Articles Posted in Criminal Appeals

California’s felony sentencing guidelines are established by the California Penal Code and the California Rules of Court.

  • The California Penal Code (Section 1170) sets forth the basic framework for felony sentencing in the state, including the three strikes law, determinate sentencing, and alternative sentencing options such as drug treatment programs and community service.
  • The California Rules of Court (Rule 4.408) provides more detailed information on the sentencing process, including the procedures for imposing and challenging a sentence, the calculation of good conduct credits, and the rules governing parole and probation.

Matthew Barhoma, the founder of Barhoma Law, P.C., is being recognized for his excellence in Appellate Law by Lawyers of Distinction. To become nominated and recognized, Lawyers of Distinction engages in a vetting process once an attorney is nominated. In vetting nominee, Lawyers of Distinction “generates a numerical score of 1 to 5 for each of the 12 enumerated factors which are meant to recognize the nominee’s achievements and peer recognition. All nominees must be licensed to practice law. Nominees are then subject to a final review for ethical violations within the past ten years before confirmation of Membership. ”

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Matthew Barhoma recognized for excellence in Appellate Law, December 2022

In analyzing whether a nominee qualifies under the 12 enumerated factors, the platform looks at the following criteria: case results, awards, general reviews and Google reviews, legal experience, educational background, professional activities, pro bono/community service, lectures, writing, and publications. Once a nominee is given an individual score for each factor, an average is weighed out to determine a cumulative objective score.

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California Court of Appeals rules for Barhoma Law client after the firm successfully brought a Writ of Habeas Corpus. The Appellate Court remnded the case back to the Superior Court for an evidentiary hearing.

Barhoma Law, P.C. successfully argued a client’s case in the California Appellate Court, Second District, forcing the case back to the Los Angeles County Superior Court for an evidentiary hearing.

On December 1, 2022, after nearly 20 months of review, the California Appellate Court, Second District issued an order in a Barhoma Law, P.C., case that involved a client who was deprived of their right to effective counsel. Even worse, at the trial level, the Client’s former attorney did not properly object to the admission of contents of the client’s cell phone that was obtained from a warrantless search pursuant to Penal Code § 1538.5 and Riley v. California (2014) 573 U.S. 373

California Lawmakers Pass AB 256, an Effort to Reduce the Racial Disparity of the Criminal Justice System

It’s beyond argument that the criminal justice system has a very unfortunate history of being applied in a racially discriminatory manner. In fact, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, Black and hispanic men are imprisoned at ten times the rate of white men. Finally, after decades of turning a blind eye to this injustice, California lawmakers have started to make meaningful strides towards a more racially just justice system with the passage of Assembly Bill 256 (“AB 256”).

What Is AB 256?

On August 8, 2022, the California Supreme Court decided a long-awaited case that affects SB 1437 Petitions for individuals convicted of Special Circumstance Murder when they ruled in the case of People v. Christopher Strong. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that some special circumstance findings do not automatically preclude defendants from SB 1437 relief.

Background Regarding SB 1437

dreamstime_xl_15103637-750x422-1-300x169In 2019, SB 1437 was enacted, amending Penal Code § 188 and § 189 and creating Penal Code § 1170.95. Pursuant to SB 1437, accomplice liability for felony murder and murder by way of the natural and probable consequence doctrine was substantially changed, allowing individuals convicted to seek to vacate their murder convictions and obtain resentencing relief. Resentencing is available for individuals convicted of murder, attempted murder, and/or manslaughter if they demonstrate:

Another Barhoma Law, P.C. Client is spared from his sentence, when Governor Newsom granted his Application for Commutation of Sentence. His family and friends were elated to hear that the Barhoma Law, P.C. client was sparred from his Life Without the Possibility of Parole sentence. Barhoma Law, P.C. represented the client through the Clemency process, where we advocated for his rights before the Parole Board and the Supreme Court of California.

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In granting the Application for Commutation of Sentence, Governor Newsom indicated the following about Barhoma Law, P.C.’s client:

In 1986, Jose Garcia and his crime partners kidnapped two victims who owed them money, held them for ransom, and beat them. On April 26, 1988, the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, sentenced Mr. Garcia to life without the possibility of parole for kidnapping for ransom, five years for kidnapping, plus four years of sentence enhancements.

Another Barhoma Law, P.C. client is fortunate to be successfully resentenced out of Riverside County pursuant to Senate Bill 483 and Penal Code § 1170.03.

On April 15, 2022, after nearly 9-months of review, the California Superior Court of Rancho Cucamonga successfully resentenced a Barhoma Law, P.C., sparing him from an illegitimate sentence. The San Bernardino Superior resentencing Court issued Barhoma Law, P.C. a new Abstract of Judgment amending our client’s sentence.

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In 2012, the client was initially charged with three (3) counts of robbery (Penal Code1 § 211), each with allegations of the robberies being committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang (§ 186.22, subd. (b)(1)(C)) and use of a firearm (§ 12022.53, subds. (b), (e)(1)). He was also charged with a single count of being a prohibited person (i.e., felon or addict) in possession of a firearm (§ 29800, subd. (a)) with a criminal street gang enhancement (§ 186.22, subd. (b)(1)(A)). Further, it was alleged that he had suffered a prior prison term (§ 667.5, subd. (b)).

ABC7 publishes an article covering California Criminal Appeals attorney, Matthew Barhoma’s work in a re-sentencing of his client pursuant to Penal Code 1170(d)(1) and AB 2942.

The article highlights a recent success for Barhoma Law, P.C., where the Firm successfully reduced a client’s sentence just mere 9 months after retaining the Firm. Our client, Mr. Earl Snoddy, spent the last 27-years behind bars for a crime he likely did not commit. The Firm filed a conviction integrity request. In addition, Mr. Snoddy, through his counsel, sought to recall and renegotiate on the sentence by submitting an AB 2942 / Penal Code § 1170(d)(1) petition. The matter had deep implications among the California Three Strike laws and various enhancements, as discussed by the ABC7 article and coverage on the matter.

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Family Reunited

Renowned California Criminal Appeals Lawyer Comments on Recent Criminal Justice Headlines

Recently, founder of Barhoma Law, P.C. Attorney Matthew Barhoma, appeared on Court TV to discuss several of the nation’s highest-profile criminal cases.

 Ahmaud Arbery

Barhoma Law, P.C., client, Earl Snoddy, is resentenced by the state court, making him a free man just 9 months after retaining Barhoma Law, P.C., the leading California Appeals and Post-Conviction law firm.

Mr. Earl Snoddy spent 27-years behind bars. Barhoma Law, P.C. successfully recalled his sentence pursuant to Penal Code § 1170(d)(1)/AB 2942. Barhoma Law, P.C. reached a joint-stipulation with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s as to Mr. Earl Snoddy’s new sentence. Due to this case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has hired a Re-entry specialist with demonstrated decades of experience. Attorney Matthew Barhoma and Barhoma Law, P.C. team members worked alongside the re-entry specialist to enroll Mr. Snoddy in a re-entry program, where he will learn to become reintegrated into everyday society.

Barhoma Law, P.C. additionally worked closely with attorneys within the DA’s office, who felt passionate about the merits of this conviction.

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