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Name: People v. Batman
Case #: C053776
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/30/2008

The imposition of the DNA penalty assessments pursuant to Government Code section 76104.6 on offenses that occurred prior to the statute’s effective date is a violation of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. Noting the similarity of the DNA assessment to the state court facilities construction penalty assessment (Gov. Code, sec. 70372) which was found to be an ex post facto law if imposed on crimes committed prior to its enactment (People v. High (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 1192), the court observed that the DNA penalty also is designated a penalty in the language of the statute; is based upon a percentage of any fine, penalty, or other forfeiture; and is primarily for law enforcement use. With consideration to these factors, it concluded that it was the intention of the legislature/electorate to impose punishment, and being a penalty, imposition of the assessment on offenses occurring prior to the statute’s effective date resulted in a prohibited ex post facto law. (Trop v. Dulles (1958) 356 U.S. 86, 95-96.)