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Name: People v. Briceno
Case #: S117641
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/04/2004

Proposition 21’s additions to the list of serious felonies includes felonies enhanced by Penal Code section 186.22(b)(1). After he was sentenced under the Three Strikes law, defendant argued on appeal that the court erred in finding that his prior conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon for the benefit of a criminal street gang was a strike. The Court of Appeal agreed, but the Supreme Court reversed, holding that the conviction constituted a prior serious felony due to the gang enhancement. The list of serious felonies in section 1192.7 includes any felony violation of section 186.22, which in addition to defining a substantive offense also includes a sentence enhancement for any offense committed for the benefit of a street gang. The Court held that the electorate must have intended to define “serious felony” to include any felony offense that is committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.