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Name: People v. Arata
Case #: C050844
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/30/2007
Summary

When a plea rests in any significant degree on a promise or agreement of the prosecutor such that it is an inducement for the plea, a violation of the bargain raises a constitutional due process right to a remedy. (Santobello v. New York (1971) 404 U.S. 257.) In 1996, appellant entered into a plea bargain which impliedly guaranteed him probation for his conviction for Penal Code section 288. Penal Code section 1203.4 relief [withdrawal of plea and setting aside of conviction] is part of the bargain made with a probationer. (People v. Johnson (1955) 134 Cal.App.2d 140.) However when appellant provided for 1203.4 relief, the trial court denied the request because the statute had been amended in1997 to exclude those convicted of sec. 288 from its relief. The appellate court agreed that the Legislature intended the statute to have a retroactive effect. Regardless, finding that appellant’s plea rested to a significant degree on the 1203.4 relief, the court reversed the denial and remanded with directions to grant the motion.