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Name: People v. Ferraez
Case #: G031123
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/22/2003
Subsequent History: None

There was sufficient evidence to support appellant’s conviction for street terrorism under Penal Code section 186.22, subd.(a)where appellant argued that he was selling drugs to get money, and the gang expert testified that in his expert opinion, the sale was gang-related. Although the expert testimony was circumstantial and based on facts which did not include appellant’s statement that he was trying to raise money to buy a car, it was still evidence supporting the conviction. The expert testimony alone would not have been sufficient, but it was coupled with other evidence from which the jury could reasonably infer the offense was gang-related, (i.e. the sale took place in “gang territory,” and appellant’s statements that he was a member of a gang.) Appellant did not receive ineffective assistance of counsel because counsel failed to object to prior crimes and gang-related evidence and failed to request a limiting instruction on the evidence. Although another lawyer might have used different tactics, it is not reasonably probable a more favorable verdict would have resulted in the absence of the alleged errors. Sentences for both street terrorism and possession of drugs for sale did not violate Penal Code section 654. Although appellant may have pursued both objectives simultaneously, they were independent of each other.