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Name: People v. Bellacosa
Case #: C049291
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/15/2007

Appellant crossed the border from California into Nevada while evading a pursuing deputy sheriff. The El Dorado County Superior Court dismissed a complaint pursuant to Penal Code section 656, which charged him with DUI and evading an officer, because appellant had already been convicted in Nevada. The prosecutor appealed the dismissal of the complaint. The appellate court directed that the complaint be reinstated. In considering whether a California prosecution is barred by a conviction in another jurisdiction, the courts look solely to the acts necessary for conviction in each jurisdiction. If proof of the same acts is required in each jurisdiction, the California prosecution is barred. However, if the offenses require proof of different acts, the California prosecution is not barred even though some elements of the offenses overlap. Here, the acts committed in California were not the same acts committed in Nevada. The California crimes were complete when appellant entered Nevada, and his actions in California were not necessary to prove the Nevada offenses. Even though the conduct was continuous, the California Supreme Court has rejected a course of conduct rule for the application of section 656. Further, in Nevada, appellant was convicted of a misdemeanor. In California, appellant was charged with a felony, which required proof of three or more traffic violations not relevant to the Nevada case. The physical acts at issue in California which were not at issue in Nevada preclude application of the prior conviction defense.