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Name: People v. Ahmed
Case #: S191020
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/22/2011
Summary

Penal Code section 654, a general statute, applies to enhancements if there is no specific statute that prevails. The sentencing limit of section 654 does not apply to enhancements which go to the nature of the offender, but it does apply to enhancements which go to the nature of the offense. Offense related enhancements focus on aspects of the criminal act that are not always present and warrant additional punishment. This case involved conviction of assault with a firearm along with enhancements for personal use of a firearm (Pen. Code, sec 12022.5), and the infliction of great bodily injury involving domestic violence (Pen. Code, sec. 12022.7, subd. (e)). The personal use of a firearm is an aspect of the criminal act that warrants additional punishment and the infliction of great bodily injury addresses a different aspect of the same criminal act and also warrants additional punishment. Conversely, there are numerous weapon enhancements which would apply to the same aspect of the crime and therefore would be limited by the application of section 654. However, in this case the two particular enhancements are controlled by the more specific statute, Penal Code section 1170.1 subdivisions (f) and (g), which bar two or more weapon enhancements and two or more great-bodily-injury enhancements for the same offense.