Trying As Juveniles by Mistake In California
In People v. Malveaux (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1425, the trial court vacated a juvenile court judgment after it learned that the defendant was probably 26, not 17, when he committed the offenses at issue.
The defendant was then tried and convicted in adult court. the appellate court found, in part, that double jeopardy did not bar the retrial. "A defendant cannot prevent a second trial where it can be determined from the record that defendant intentionally committed fraud on the court in securing the first conviction.
The United States Supreme Court has recognized that courts have an inherent ability to correct judgments obtained through fraud or intentional misrepresentation. (Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co. (1944) 322 U.S. 238, 248.)
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, using the rationale developed in Hazel-Atlas, held that the district court had the inherent power to vacate a criminal sentence obtained through fraud or misrepresentation. (United States v. Bishop (7th Cir. 1985) 774 F.2d 771, 774.)
The Bishop court went on to state, '. . . the defendant's action in intentionally deceiving the court strikes at the very heart and foundation of the American system of justice. If a defendant, . . . , intentionally commits a fraud upon the court by providing the court with erroneous information that the court relies upon, . . . he certainly must bear the consequences of his fraudulent and deceitful actions.' " (People v. Malveaux, supra, 50 Cal.App. 4th at pp. 1440-1441.)
"The perpetration of fraud on the court must be affirmative actions taken on the part of the defendant. the prosecution cannot use this exception to the bar against double jeopardy to get subsequent attempts at convicting defendant due to trial errors that could have been corrected in a timely manner." (Id. at p. 1441.)