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Name: In re Alejandro B.
Case #: F070090
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/07/2015
Summary

Juvenile court erred in relying on People v. Vargas (2014) 59 Cal.4th 635 to dismiss one of two current offenses that arose out of a single act against a single victim. During a contested jurisdictional hearing, the juvenile court found true allegations that minor Alejandro committed an assault and burglary for the benefit of a criminal street gang. At the disposition hearing, the minor asked the court to dismiss one of the counts because the assault and burglary were based on the same act involving the same victim, citing People v. Vargas. The trial court struck the assault count and the special allegation, leaving only the burglary count. The prosecutor appealed, arguing that the court erred in dismissing the assault pursuant to Vargas, because it is inapplicable to this situation. Held: Reversed and remanded. In Vargas, the Supreme Court held that, when faced with two prior strike convictions based on the same act, the trial court is required to dismiss one of them. Here, there was no allegation of a sentence enhancement because of a strike, and the minor was not subject to Three Strikes sentencing. The proceedings concerned commitment offenses, not prior offenses. The Vargas decision does not apply to a case involving two current offenses arising out of a single act against a single victim. The juvenile court should have imposed but stayed a sentence on the assault count pursuant to Penal Code section 654. The minor was not entitled to dismissal of the assault count based on Vargas.