California Court of Appeal

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People v. Espinoza, H039219

In this case, following the court's denial of several motions by defendant to dismiss defense counsel and the court's refusal to grant a continuance, defendant proceeded with the trial in pro per. On the second day of the evidentiary phase of trial, however, defendant failed to appear, and after trying unsuccessfully to locate defendant, the court proceeded with the trial in defendant's absence and without appointing defense counsel. Defendant was found guilty on six criminal counts and sentenced to term of imprisonment. Judgment of conviction is reversed, where: 1) the trial court erred by proceeding with trial in the absence of defendant and defense counsel because defendant did not knowingly waive several fundamental trial rights; 2) this error was structural, requiring automatic reversal; and 3) the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for a one-day continuance after granting his Faretta motion.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 01/28/2015
  • Published 01/28/2015

Judges

  • Marquez

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel