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Name: People v. Franco
Case #: B260447
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 03/14/2016
Subsequent History: Review granted 6/15/2016: S233973

It is the face value of a forged check that is relevant under Penal Code section 473 (amended by Prop. 47), not the intrinsic value of the instrument itself. In October 2012, Franco pleaded guilty to forgery (Pen. Code, § 475, subd. (a)) and receiving stolen property (Pen. Code, § 496, subd. (a)) and admitted five prior prison term allegations (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)). The court struck four of the five enhancements, suspended execution of a four-year prison term, and placed Franco on probation. When his probation was revoked, Franco made an oral motion to reduce his offenses to misdemeanors, which the court denied. Franco appealed. Held: Affirmed. In November 2014, the voters enacted Proposition 47, which reduced certain drug and theft-related offenses to misdemeanors. It added Penal Code section 1170.18, which provides a procedure whereby qualified defendants may seek resentencing. It also amended the forgery law to reduce that offense to a misdemeanor where the value involved is not more than $950, unless the defendant has suffered one or more disqualifying convictions. A similar amendment was made to receiving stolen property (Pen. Code, § 496, subd. (a)). Franco argued that he was entitled to relief under Proposition 47 because the “value” of the forged check was not the face value of $1,500, but the intrinsic value of the instrument. But in the context of “forgery,” the word “value” as used in section 473, subdivision (b), corresponds to the face value of the check, not the negligible value of the instrument itself (distinguishing People v. Cuellar (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 833). As for Franco’s receiving stolen property conviction, there was no indication in the record that he petitioned the court for resentencing on this offense.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: