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Name: People v. Juarez
Case #: G049037
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/30/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 9/10/2014: S219889

Even though attempted murder charges were twice dismissed, Penal Code section 1387 did not prevent prosecution from filing charge of conspiracy to commit murder because the elements of the offenses are not identical. The prosecution twice filed attempted murder charges against appellants; both cases were dismissed. A third complaint was filed alleging conspiracy to commit murder based on the same underlying conduct. The defense filed a section 1387 motion and the trial court dismissed the third complaint. The prosecution appealed. Held: Reversed. Under section 1387, a felony complaint may be refiled once for the “same offense.” The purpose behind section 1387 is to avoid harassment of a defendant and denial of a speedy trial. The California Supreme Court has narrowly defined “same offense”: two charged offenses are the “same offense” only if they include “identical elements.” (People v. Traylor (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1205.) It is not the underlying criminal conduct that matters, it is the elements of the offense charged. Although allowing the refiling of charges here would violate the policy behind section 1387, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder do not have identical elements, and that is the test established by Traylor.