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Name: In re Noelle M.
Case #: C056780
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/16/2008

The illegal sale of methadone to five separate individuals over the course of several hours constitutes five unique acts with separate objectives such that sentencing for each sale is not precluded by Penal Code section 654. The minor sold stolen methadone pills to seven students at a high school homecoming game, two of whom died. Among other offenses, she admitted five counts of selling methadone and was sentenced to separate sentences for each count. The appellate court rejected appellant’s claim that the sales constituted a single objective, finding appellant’s definition of the concept of single objective for the purpose of Penal Code section 654 was too broad because her culpability increased with each sale and to find otherwise would defeat the statute’s intent to insure punishment commensurate with culpability.