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Name: In re Phelon
Case #: A110492
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/26/2005

A prisoner’s custody credits may not be limited based on convictions for which sentence was stayed. The defendant was convicted of several counts, some of which are subject to the credits limitations of Penal Code section 2933.1, but at sentencing the court imposed sentence on only one count, which was not subject to section 2933.1, and stayed the remaining counts pursuant to section 654. The judge awarded custody credits under section 4019, but the Department of Corrections took the position that the existence of the stayed counts limited defendant’s available conduct credits to 15 percent under section 2933.1. The Court of Appeal issued a writ of habeas corpus, holding that neither the defendant’s pre-sentence conduct credits nor his post-sentence credits should be limited by the stayed counts. After the California Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Reeves (2005) 35 Cal.4th 765, the Department of Corrections conceded that the stayed counts should not limit defendant’s post-sentence credits. As to the pre-sentence credits, the court agreed with defendant that a limit on credit-earning capacity is a form of punishment, and a count stayed under section 654 is not to be used for punitive purposes. Thus, the case was distinguishable from People v. Ramos (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 810, and defendant’s pre-sentence credits should not be limited under section 2933.1.