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Name: People v. Call
Case #: F071500
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/14/2017
Summary

When the offenses underlying prior prison term enhancements are reduced to misdemeanors prior to sentencing, the trial court may not enhance the sentence with those priors. A jury convicted Call of transporting methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11379) and possession of methamphetamine for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11378), and found three prior prison term enhancements true (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)). Prior to sentencing, the three receiving stolen property offenses underlying the prison priors were reduced to misdemeanors under Proposition 47. Over defense objection, the trial court imposed three years for the enhancements. Call appealed. Held: Reversed. Proposition 47 reduced certain drug felonies to misdemeanors, unless committed by a defendant who has a “super strike” prior (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (e)(2)(C)(4)) or is a sex registrant (Pen. Code, § 290, subd. (c)). It also provided a mechanism by which a qualified defendant could petition to have her felony conviction designated as a misdemeanor (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subds. (f), (g)). The offense of receiving stolen property (Pen. Code, § 496, subd. (a)) was redefined by Proposition 47 to be a misdemeanor where the value of the property does not exceed $950. Prior to sentencing, the convictions underlying Call’s prior prison terms were made misdemeanors “for all purposes” except for firearm restrictions. Applying Proposition 47 prospectively, the redesignation of the offenses removed an element which is required for a section 667.5, subdivision (b) enhancement, i.e., that the defendant be convicted of a felony. Thus, the enhancement could not be imposed.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/F071500.PDF