AB 1310 – CA’s Proposed Law to Resentence on Gun Enhancement CasesPublished on August 15, 2023
AUTO-GENERATED TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO:
This is Aaron Spolin. I’m a Criminal Appeals attorney. And I wanted to make a short video about AB 1310, which is a proposed law. That would do a lot for a lot of inmates in California prisons. I want to make a note, this analysis was created in August of 2023. So the law may have been changed since that time, and anyone is welcome to call our firm if you want to find out whether the law applies to your case, or would apply to your case. Right now it is in a draft form and is not an actual law yet. So first of all, what is AB 1310? It is a proposed new law to resentence inmates with gun enhancements. So essentially, if you’ve got a gun enhancement, this would very likely affect you. And what would happen to those gun enhancements? Well, everyone with gun enhancement would get a resentencing. That does not mean the gun enhancement would go away. But, if this law were to pass in its current form everyone would get a re sentencing hearing in superior court where a judge could remove the enhancement, and the judge could potentially modify the sentence in other ways. So when would this go into effect? Well, if it were passed in its current form, October 1 2024, is going to go into effect. So that’s in about a year or so. And one question is: would a resentencing be guaranteed? Yes, it would be under the current proposed law. But there’s a serious limitation. The outcome is not guaranteed. Under the current law at resentencing, a judge could choose to keep the gun enhancement and could choose not to remove other enhancements. So essentially, even though the resentencing would be guaranteed under the current text of the law, actually getting a lower sentence is not guaranteed. And that will be up to the judge. So how does the judge decide? Well, the law lays out a number of factors that a judge is supposed to look at in deciding whether to remove a gun enhancement. Many of those factors are mentioned in a law called AB 256 about race, whether race played a role in the conviction or the sentence. Another one is whether there are multiple enhancements on one case; multiple enhancements make it more likely that the judge should remove the gun enhancement. If there are enhancements that are 20 years or more, that makes it more likely that the judge should remove the enhancement. Mental illness is a factor that judges are supposed to look at. Childhood trauma is another factor listed in this law and its current form that judges are supposed to look at. Whether prior convictions are old, more than five years old from before the crime in question that got the gun enhancement. There are many, many other factors as well risk of violence, age, time served behavior. And there’s a catch-all factor judges are supposed to consider: whether it is in the interest of justice to remove a gun enhancement. So that is AB 1310. The attorneys at Spolin & Dukes have heard lots of questions about AB 1310 from our clients, from current clients and future clients, and we’re open to answering questions. And obviously a disclaimer is that prior success that we’ve gotten in other cases does not guarantee future success. Either way, looking forward to hearing from you.
Fox 40 Covers Caitlin Dukes’ Promotion to Partner and Her Record of Case Wins, 2023Published on August 8, 2023
In July 2023, Fox 40 featured a story about attorney Caitlin Dukes’ record of wins throughout the last few years, as well as her recent promotion to partner. Contained in the article is a partial list of Ms. Dukes’ wins, which include cases where murder convictions were overturned and clients were released from custody.
The text of the article is copied below, and it can also be viewed on Fox 40’s website here.
Appeals Attorney Caitlin Dukes is Now Partner at Spolin & Dukes P.C.; She Brings a Record of Winning Difficult Cases
LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Appeals attorney and former prosecutor Caitlin Dukes has been promoted to the position of partner at Spolin & Dukes, P.C., formerly Spolin Law P.C.
She has a track record of winning difficult cases, including the twenty representative cases and rulings that are listed at the end of this press release. Her wins include overturning multiple murder convictions, winning contested court hearings, vacating lower court decisions, and—in one case—securing the immediate ordered release of an innocent client convicted of murder who had been fighting his case for 15 years.
Ms. Dukes, along with one other attorney, Jeremy Cutcher, won the firm’s Legal Service Award in 2022 for displaying exceptional care and consideration and for going above and beyond in their duties. Ms. Dukes was also selected by Super Lawyers® for the prestigious 2023 Rising Star award.
“A lawyer’s role goes beyond fighting the case,” noted attorney Aaron Spolin, another partner at the firm. “Caitlin has shown incredible compassion for our clients, demystifying the process and helping clients’ families understand her strategies and the tactical steps that she wants to take on a given case.”
Ms. Tran is the wife of a former client; Ms. Dukes overturned Ms. Tran’s husband’s murder conviction in 2020. “I was so glad to have Caitlin in court,” Ms. Tran said. “The prosecutor was trying to say my husband should stay in prison for life because he was some reckless killer, but Caitlin wouldn’t stand for any of that. She is a no-nonsense type of person. I owe Caitlin and Aaron a lot for winning the case.”
Ms. Dukes responded to the promotion with grace and a clear eagerness to continue her hard work.
“Everyone deserves a fighter. Everyone deserves compassion. When I first talk on the phone with my clients, I hear the sadness in their voices,” Ms. Dukes observed. “Many of them feel like a bug that’s been stepped on by our monstrous criminal justice system. My job is to lift them up. Some cases we win and some we lose, but I demand that my clients be taken seriously.”
Below is a partial list of cases in which Ms. Dukes has helped the firm achieve favorable outcomes, including ones where murder convictions were overturned, resulting in the clients’ release. It should be noted that prior success does not guarantee future success.
Caitlin Dukes and the firm’s case managers can be reached at (310) 494-2724.