Trial court properly refused to order a split sentence for an otherwise qualified defendant because of the fact that he faced mandatory deportation. In 2015, Arce pleaded guilty to possession for sale of heroin and cocaine (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11351, 11370.4, subd. (a)(1)). The terms of his plea agreement provided that he would serve five years in jail and that he could ask the trial court to impose a split sentence (Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (h)(5)), so that he could serve the concluding portion of his term on mandatory supervision rather than in custody. At sentencing the trial court declined to impose a split sentence because the risk that Arce, a citizen of Mexico, would be deported during the period of mandatory supervision undermined the likelihood he would be subject to the managed supervision provided by section 1170, subdivision (h)(5). Arce appealed. Held: Affirmed. The Realignment Act of 2011 sought to reduce the rate of recidivism among nonviolent offenders by encouraging the local confinement of such offenders and facilitating their participation in local programs and supervision to assist their reintegration into society. Where sentence is imposed pursuant to section 1170, subdivision (h), the court must impose a split sentence for an eligible defendant unless it finds that, in the interests of justice, that is inappropriate (Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (h), Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.415(a)). However, where a defendant is outside the United States, the mandatory supervision provided for in section 1170, subdivision (h) is not feasible. Arce’s convictions subject him to mandatory deportation. “Because the supervision and programs contemplated by Realignment cannot be administered following deportation” the trial court did not err in declining to impose a split sentence.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/D069360.PDF