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Name: In re D.N.
Case #: F075019
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/23/2018
Summary

In felony vehicle theft case where the People failed to prove the value of the vehicle exceeded $950 after the passage of Proposition 47, offense must be reduced to a misdemeanor because remand for further evidence on the value would violate double jeopardy principles. After a contested jurisdiction hearing in October 2016, the juvenile court sustained a juvenile delinquency petition alleging D.N. had committed residential burglary and felony theft of a vehicle (Veh. Code, § 10851). Police discovered D.N. and her boyfriend in D.N.’s mother’s car shortly after a burglary (the boyfriend was the driver) and D.N. told the officers she took her mother’s car without permission. On appeal, D.N. argued the People failed to establish the value of the stolen vehicle exceeded $950, which would make the offense a felony. Held: Felony vehicle theft adjudication reduced to a misdemeanor. Proposition 47, effective November 5, 2014, reduced the punishments for certain theft-related offenses, making them punishable as misdemeanors rather than felonies. It added Penal Code section 490.2, which provides that obtaining any property worth less than $950 by theft is petty theft and punishable as a misdemeanor. People v. Page (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1175 held the theft of a vehicle under section 10851 came within the provisions of Proposition 47 and Penal Code section 490.2. Here, there was no dispute that the People failed to prove the value of the vehicle that D.N. stole exceeded $950. However, the Attorney General argued that the matter should be remanded to the juvenile court to prove the value of the vehicle. The Court of Appeal disagreed, concluding that a remand for additional evidence on the value of the car under the facts of this case would violate double jeopardy principles. Proposition 47 had been the law for two years before D.N.’s jurisdiction hearing and the People were on notice that section 10851 might fall within the provisions of Proposition 47, as there had been conflicting appellate decisions and the issue was pending in the Supreme Court.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/F075019.PDF