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Name: People v. Herrera
Case #: G034848
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/22/2006

At a preliminary hearing Herrera was held to answer for several substance abuse offenses. He successfully moved to dismiss a conspiracy count pursuant to Penal Code section 995 because there was no evidence of conspiracy other than his own extrajudicial statements. The prosecutor appealed the granting of the 995 motion, arguing that the corpus delicti rule does not apply to preliminary hearings. Herrera argued that the appeal was moot because he pleaded guilty to two necessarily included offenses, and could therefore not be tried on the conspiracy charge even if the appellate court agreed with the prosecutor concerning the 995 motion. The appellate court found that the appeal was not moot because Herrera pleaded guilty to charges that were not necessarily included offenses of conspiracy. On the merits, it held that the corpus delicti rule continues to apply to preliminary hearings. Therefore, the trial court was correct, and the order dismissing the conspiracy charge was affirmed.