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Name: People v. Delgado
Case #: S141282
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/29/2008

In determining whether a prior conviction was for a serious felony, where the prior conviction was under a statute that described conduct that could constitute a non-serious felony or a serious felony, the court can consider language appearing in the record of conviction to determine whether the conviction was for a serious felony. Appellant was charged with a prior felony conviction for Penal Code section 245, subdivsion (a) as a “strike” and serious felony. At the court trial, the prosecution produced an abstract of judgment that specified by handwritten notations, “245(A)(1)” and “Asslt w Dwpn.” Appellant presented no evidence regarding the nature of the crime. On the basis of the evidence presented, the trial court found that the prior conviction constituted both a serious felony and a “strike” offense. Noting that an abstract of judgment prepared by the court clerk, at or near the time of judgment, as part of his or her official duty is cloaked with a presumption of regularity and reliability and that the court can assume that the descriptive language is not surplusage, but adequately qualifies the offense as a serious felony, the Supreme Court found that substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding.