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Name: Bradwell v. Superior Court (People)
Case #: C054546
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/19/2007

A welfare fraud conviction pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 11483 is not a qualifying prior for Penal Code section 666 (petty theft with a prior theft conviction). Although the language of section 11483 aligns with the definition of theft in Penal Code section 484, under rules of statutory interpretation, section 11483 is a special statute that conflicts with the general theft statute. Thus, the rule of lenity, as well as the statutory history and legislative intent, dictate that a conviction for section 11483 fails to qualify as a requisite prior theft conviction under Penal Code section 666.