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Name: People v. Atencio, Jr.
Case #: C063710
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/28/2012

Under Penal Code section 654, if all the offenses are incident to one objective, defendant can be punished only once. On May 6, 2009, appellant stole a gun from the home of the mother of an acquaintance and possessed it until May 7, 2009, when he was arrested. At trial, he was convicted of grand theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and then sentenced to consecutive prison terms for the two offenses. The Court of Appeal ordered the sentence modified to stay the term imposed for possession of a firearm by a felon. The court found that the continuous course of conduct evidenced here had only one objective, that being appellant’s objective to possess the gun. The taking was merely the means by which appellant gained possession of the firearm. Since the evidence was insufficient to establish that appellant had but the one objective of possessing the gun, pursuant to section 654, he could be punished only once. (People v. Jones (2012) 54 Cal.4th 350; Neal v. State of California (1960) 55 Cal.2d 11.)