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Name: People v. Carter (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 960
Case #: D082219
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/08/2023

The full resentencing procedure in Penal Code section 1172.75 (Senate Bill No. 483) applies to all sentences, including stipulated sentences imposed as part of a plea bargain, and the prosecution may not withdraw from the plea bargain if the court imposes a lesser sentence on resentencing. In 2016, defendant pled guilty to several felonies in exchange for a stipulated sentence of 12 years. In October of 2022, defendant was referred by CDCR for resentencing under SB 483. The trial court struck defendant’s prior prison term enhancement but refused to conduct a full resentencing based on defendant’s stipulated sentence. Defendant appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. Applying principles of statutory interpretation, the Court of Appeal held that the language of section 1172.75 and SB 483 demonstrate the Legislature’s intent to apply the full-resentencing provisions of section 1172.75 to all sentences, whether stipulated or not. Furtherthe statement of legislative intent in SB 483 does not differentiate between a sentence reduced by removal of the prison-prior enhancement and a sentence reduced due to other resentencing decisions made by the trial court. Instead, it broadly refers to “any changes” to the sentence resulting under the new law and then states that those changes do not give the prosecution a right to withdraw from a plea agreement. Considering the statute’s plain language and statement of legislative intent, the court determined that the Legislature’s clear directive is that any reduction of the defendant’s sentence on resentencing shall not be a basis for the prosecutor or the court to withdraw from a plea agreement. [Editor’s Note: The court disagreed with People v. Coddington (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 562, which held that on an SB 483 remand, the defendant is allowed to seek further reductions from a stipulated plea, but if the trial court decides to further reduce the sentence, the District Attorney can withdraw its assent to the plea agreement.]