Skip to content
Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: B287551
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/15/2019

Because Senate Bill No. 620 (granting courts discretion to dismiss firearm use enhancements) is not retroactive to cases whose judgments were final on its effective date, defendant’s appeal must be dismissed as from a nonappealable order. In 2016, Hernandez pleaded guilty to two felonies and admitted that he personally used a firearm in committing both offenses (Pen. Code, § 12022.5, subds. (a) & (d).) He appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed. After his judgment was final, Hernandez moved to strike the firearm enhancements on various grounds in December 2017 without mentioning SB 620, which granted trial courts discretion to dismiss firearm use enhancements under Penal Code sections 12022.5 and 12022.53 and went into effect on January 1, 2018. The trial court denied the motion shortly after SB 620 went into effect. Hernandez appealed, arguing that his case must be remanded for resentencing under SB 620. Held: Appeal dismissed. “An order made after judgment affecting a defendant’s substantial rights is appealable. (§ 1237, subd. (b).) However, once a judgment is rendered, except for limited statutory exceptions (§§ 1170.126, 1170.18), the sentencing court is without jurisdiction to vacate or modify the sentence, except pursuant to the provisions of section 1170, subdivision (d). [Citation.]” (People v. Fuimaono (2019) 32 Cal.App.5th 132, 134.) Here, Hernandez’s judgment was final in November 2017. No statute granted the trial court jurisdiction to grant the relief requested in Hernandez’s motion. SB 620 does not apply retroactively to cases that were final on its effective date and does not contain language authorizing resentencing of such cases. The court also concluded the failure to apply full retroactivity to SB 620 does not violate equal protection because statutes lessening the punishment for specific offenses can be limited to prospective application. As a result, “the order denying the motion did not affect [Hernandez’s] substantial rights as contemplated in section 1237, subdivision (b).” The court agreed with the reasoning in Fuimaono and dismissed the appeal.

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