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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: B222978
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/19/2011
Summary

Restitution under Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (r), is limited to economic loss and does not envision an award for potential economic loss to punish the offender. By guilty pleas, appellants were convicted of Penal Code section 653w (failure to disclose origin of recording or audiovisual work) and section 350, subdivision (a)(1) (manufacture or sale of counterfeit mark). In evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, appellant Avila was found in possession of a large number of DVD’s of recent films, that he told police officers he intended to sell. In the apartment of Avila and Garcia, officers found equipment for the manufacture and packaging of DVD’S and CD’s, pay-owe records with notations for approximately 4,000 CD’s, over 10,000 pirated DVD’s, and 3,935 counterfeit music CD’s. The trial court ordered appellants to pay $235,072.68 in restitution pursuant to Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (r), with a portion going to the Motion Picture Association of America and a portion to the Recording Association of America. The award was comprised of the value for both the seized items and the items in the pay-owe sheets. Under rules of statutory construction, the court determined that the Legislative intent for Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (r), was to recompense a victim’s economic loss rather than to punish offenders commensurate with the size of their inventory. It is not necessary to resort to restitution for potential losses to punish the defendant because the pirating statutes, alone, provide sufficient means for punishment by providing for significant prison terms and sizable fines. Accordingly, the court found the restitution award comprising both economic loss and potential economic loss was error and modified the order to reflect only the economic loss, thereby reducing the award to $87,113.20 which reflected the victims’ actual economic loss.