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Name: People v. Griggs
Case #: F040410
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/25/2003
Subsequent History: None

During appellant’s jury trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm, appellant and his codefendant stipulated that they had prior felony convictions for the purpose of establishing the element of ex-felon status. On appeal, appellant contended that the trial court’s failure to sua sponte give a limiting instruction regarding the stipulation violated his right to due process. The appellate court here affirmed. A jury is no more likely to misuse the fact of the prior conviction if proved by stipulation rather than testimony. Whether to seek a limiting instruction is a tactical decision left to defense counsel, who might conclude that the risk of an instruction highlighting appellant’s status as a felon outweighed the questionable benefits of an instruction.