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People v. Bray

California Court of Appeal
52 Cal. App. 3d 494 (1975)


Facts

In a 1969 Kansas criminal case, James Bray (defendant) pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was granted probation. After completing probation in 1971, Bray moved to California. Over the next three years, he filed an application to vote, job applications, and a form to buy a revolver. In filling out these forms, Bray either stated that he had not been convicted of a felony or supplied information explaining the circumstances of the Kansas criminal case. In 1974, investigators found a revolver and a pistol in Bray’s home. Bray was charged with two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm under California Penal Code § 12021, based on the theory that his Kansas plea constituted a felony conviction. At Bray’s trial, he requested that the jury be instructed that a mistake of fact disproving criminal intent is a valid defense, so that Bray could not be convicted if he reasonably but erroneously believed that he had not been convicted of a felony in Kansas. The judge denied Bray’s request. Bray was convicted on both counts and appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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