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Name: People v. Gonzalez
Case #: B189988
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/03/2007

Reference to misdemeanor punishment does not give judges the discretion to sentence a felony violation of Penal Code section 290, subdivision (g)(2) as a misdemeanor. Gonzalez appealed the judgment following a guilty plea to a Penal Code section 290 registration violation, contending that the trial court failed to exercise its discretion under section 290, subdivision (g)(2) to declare his offense a misdemeanor. The appellate court rejected his argument and affirmed the judgment. Penal Code section 290(g)(2) provides that failure to register after changing addresses is a felony if the underlying offense requiring registration is a felony. Subdivision (g)(9) establishes a misdemeanor of providing false information on the registration form. However, the reference to subdivision (g)(9) in subdivision (g)(2) does not convert the statute into a “wobbler.” Appellant’s underlying registrable offense was a felony, and therefore his failure to register was a felony and required a felony sentence. The reference to section (g)(9) in the statute does not affect the result by giving the court discretion to impose a misdemeanor sentence.