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Name: People v. Garza
Case #: S120551
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/19/2005

A conviction for receiving stolen property does not bar a conviction for unlawful post-theft driving. The defendant here was convicted of violations of both Penal Code section 496(a) and Vehicle Code section 10851(a), and the jury verdict for the latter did not specify whether it was based on the taking of the vehicle or on post-theft driving of the vehicle. The jury instructions did not require the jury to make such a finding. The California Supreme Court held that, considering the evidence at trial, it was not reasonably probable that a properly instructed jury would have found that the defendant took the vehicle but did not engage in any post-theft driving. Thus, a reviewing court could construe the section 10851 conviction to be based on post-theft driving, allowing conviction for both offenses.