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Name: People v. Castillo
Case #: C061806
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/18/2010
Summary

Imposition of the $30 assessment pursuant to Government Code section 70373, for an offense occurring prior to the effective date of the statute is not a violation of the prohibition against ex post facto laws and the triggering date for the imposition is the date of conviction. Appellant was convicted of a 2007 carjacking and sentenced to 19 years in state prison and ordered to pay a $30 criminal conviction assessment pursuant to Government Code section 70373, which has an effective date of January 1, 2009. The court held that imposition of the $30 assessment was not a violation of the prohibition against ex post facto laws because the assessment is not punitive –- it was not denominated a fine, the amount is small and not dependent on the seriousness of the crime, and it was adopted to address a budget shortfall. Additionally, imposition of the assessment was not statutorily prohibited. The language of the statute states that the assessment is to be imposed on every conviction, as opposed to every offense. This language is identical to that of Penal Code section 1465.8, as interpreted in People v. Alford (2007) 42 Cal.4th 749, holding the conviction date to be the operative date and when a term has been given a particular meaning by a judicial decision, it is presumed to have the same meaning in later enacted statutes. In this case, because the conviction was after the January 1, 2009, effective date of section 70373, imposition of the assessment was not error.