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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.

While California is on the cutting-edge of criminal justice reform, in large part, this is due to the extremely harsh sentencing laws enacted in decades past. Most notably, California’s three strikes law, codified in Penal Code § 667, provides for increasingly harsh sentences for those who have been convicted of certain felony crimes. In some cases, the California three strikes law can result in an additional 25-year to life sentence on top of the sentence for the most recent conviction.

The History of the California Three Strikes Law

Back in 1994, during the height of the war on drugs and while many California cities were plagued by the highest rate of violent crime in history, Governor Wilson signed AB 971 into law. AB 971 was known as the “Three Strike and You’re Out” law or, more commonly, as the “Three Strikes Law.”

The effects of a felony conviction are severe and remain with you for life. However, by obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, inmates can regain many of the liberties they’ve been deprived of due to their conviction. While certificates of rehabilitation are not new, by any means, they are underutilized, in large part, because they are misunderstood. Read on to learn more about certificates of rehabilitation and how to obtain one.

What Is a Certificates of Rehabilitation?

A certificate of rehabilitation is a court determination that a former inmate has been fully rehabilitated. In this way, a certificate of rehabilitation does not help currently incarcerated inmates; however, it can help formerly incarcerated inmates on their journey to rebuild their lives and become contributing members of society.

Barhoma Law, P.C., a California Criminal Appeals law firm, has been following Senate Bill 775 closely. Senate Bill 775 passed the senate and the assembly this month, on September 10, 2021. It has been passed off to Governor Newsom for final signature. If signed, this bill will help reduce the sentence of those convicted of attempted murder and manslaughter, if they meet the SB 775 criteria.

Most notably, SB 775 is retroactive, meaning, you can apply this new law to your case, despite your case being final. Previously, SB 1437 changed the felony murder rule. Under SB 1437, those convicted under the natural and probable consequences doctrine were able to petition the court to re-examine their case. More specifically, per SB 1437, if an accused did not: (1) act with reckless indifference to human life, or (2) was not a major participant to homicide, they were able to petition for re-sentencing. Attorney Matthew Barhoma, founder of Barhoma Law, P.C. was successful multiple times under this law, giving back his clients a second chance at life.

However, SB 1437 only applied to those convicted of homicide. As such, it did not apply to those convicted of lesser offenses, such as attempted murder or manslaughter. Even worse, the SB 1437 criteria left out those who were facing homicide charges, but decided to comply with the District Attorney’s office during their prosecution by accepting a plea deal for a lesser offense.

Over the past decade, California lawmakers have taken significant steps to improve the state’s broken criminal justice system. Lawmakers began to realize that decades of a “War on Drugs,” coupled with the state’s tough-on-crime stance, resulted in over-incarceration, mostly of Young Men of Color. However, given the recent sea change in the state’s sentencing enhancement laws, thousands of current inmates stand to have their sentences reduced. Below is a description of some of the most notable new sentencing enhancement laws over the past few years.

Senate Bill 180

Effective: January 1, 2018.

The writ of habeas corpus, or the “Great Writ” as it is also known, is a powerful tool. The writ of habeas corpus calls for the review of an individual’s incarceration, requiring the government to justify why it is holding someone in custody. When properly used, a writ of habeas corpus can compel the release of an inmate. However, as powerful as the Great Writ is, it is also commonly misunderstood. These misunderstandings can often result in inmates improperly filing for habeas relief, possibly risking proper review in the future. In the post, leading California criminal appeals lawyer explains: (1) what a Writ of Habeas Corpus is; (2) the differences between state and federal writs of Habeas Corpus, and (3) the requirements of Exhausting your state legal remedies.

What Is a Writ of Habeas Corpus?

Simply put, a writ of habeas corpus calls into question the continued incarceration of an individual. Thus, aside from direct appeal relief, a petition for writ of habeas corpus is another important way for inmates to challenge their conviction or sentence. However, unlike an appeal, a writ of habeas corpus does not give a petitioner the chance to relitigate their case. Writs of habeas corpus are limited to situations in which someone is incarcerated due to an incorrect application of law or newly present circumstances justifying their release.

For decades, California had the largest prison system of all U.S. states. However, in more recent years, sociological and scientific research indicated that the effects of mass incarceration can do much more harm than good. For example, a 2019 study conducted by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office notes that the average annual cost to incarcerate one person exceeds $80,000. Of course, ending mass incarceration not only provides economic and societal benefits but is also the right thing to do from a human rights perspective.

California lawmakers have been on the forefront of criminal justice reform. Most recently, California Governor, Gavin Newsome, announced a policy by which 76,000 inmates will become eligible for early release. The measure is designed to incentivize good conduct while incarcerated, allowing inmates to more easily use early release credits to get out of jail. More specifically, under the new rule, an inmate can use good behavior credits to shorten their sentence by up to one-third. Previously, there most a sentence could be reduced was one-fifth.

Unlike many other criminal justice reform measures, this new rule applies broadly to inmates convicted of all types of offenses, including those convicted of violent crimes. According to a recent report by the Associated Press, 63,000 of the inmates who will become eligible for earlier release are serving time for a violent offense. The new rule will also allow approximately 20,000 inmates currently serving a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole to qualify for early release. In part, the reason why this figure is so high is that other criminal justice reform measures have overlooked this population.

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