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Name: In re R. L.
Case #: A120821
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/05/2009

Penal Code section 654, which bars subsequent prosecution of an offense where the initial proceeding resulted in either acquittal or conviction, does not prohibit amendment of a juvenile court petition after sustaining of the charges but prior to the dispositional phase. R.L. admitted possession of a billy club, as alleged in the juvenile petition. Before the dispositional hearing, the prosecutor filed an amended petition to allege additional offenses occurring on the same day, and R.L. moved to dismiss them as a violation of section 654 and contra to the ruling in Kellett v. Superior Court (1966) 63 Cal.2d 822. Agreeing with respondent, the appellate court found that under juvenile rules, the sustaining of charges is the equivalent of an adult conviction and the dispositional hearing is the equivalent of an adult sentencing. As the proceedings in R.L.’s case had not yet concluded, there was no violation of section 654 or Kellett.