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Name: People v. Kindall
Case #: C078996
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/22/2016
Summary

It is error to impose a one-year prison prior enhancement (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)) when the felony conviction underlying it was reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 47 (Pen. Code, § 1170.18) before the enhancement was found true. A jury convicted Kindall of battery and other offenses. Before a court trial on three alleged prison prior enhancements, he had the felony convictions underlying those enhancements reduced to misdemeanors pursuant to Proposition 47. However, the trial court still found the prior prison term allegations true and increased Kindall’s sentence based on the prison priors. Kindall appealed. Held: Enhancements stricken. Proposition 47 provides that once a qualifying prior felony conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor it “shall be considered a misdemeanor for all purposes.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subds. (f), (k).) In People v. Rivera (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1085, the court held that the “for all purposes” language operates prospectively only, as the same language is used in Penal Code section 17, subdivision (b) and People v. Park (2013) 56 Cal.4th 782 concluded that section 17 applies prospectively only. However, prospective operation of the “for all purposes” language requires that the prison priors be stricken in this case. Kindall’s felony convictions underlying the prison priors were reduced to misdemeanors before the trial court adjudicated the prison priors. Since the convictions were misdemeanors for all purposes from that point forward, and because a prison prior cannot be imposed unless the conviction underlying it is a felony (see People v. Tenner (1993) 6 Cal.4th 559), there was no basis on which to impose the prison priors. The judgment must be modified to strike them.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/C078996.PDF