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Name: People v. Castillo
Case #: G038013
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/18/2008

For statute of limitations purposes, a felony prosecution commences with the filing of the information or indictment, and the legal issue as to the timing of the commencement of the prosecution is an issue for the court, and not a factual issue for the jury. In this case, the rape offenses were committed on February 23, 1995. The applicable statute of limitations (Pen. Code, sec. 803) provided for a period of ten years beyond the commission of the offense. As the record reflected that the information was filed on March 27, 2003, sufficient evidence refuted appellant’s claim of an untimely filing. The court observed that when a valid charging document shows on its face the prosecution was timely commenced, on appeal, the reviewing court can consider the document to determine if substantial evidence supported the judgment even if the document was not in evidence.
Reversal of a judgment of conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct occurs only when a review of totality of the evidence reveals that a result more favorable to appellant would have occurred absent the misconduct. Here, there was overwhelming evidence of guilt as a result of DNA evidence which eliminated any possible prejudice resulting from the prosecutor’s improper vouching during voir dire.