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Name: People v. Laughlin
Case #: F047242
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/21/2006

Appellant was convicted of driving with willful disregard for the safety of others while fleeing pursuing police officers in violation of Vehicle Code section 2800.2. On appeal, he argued that the Legislature’s addition of subdivision (b) to section 2800.2 created an unconstitutional mandatory presumption by allowing a finding of willful disregard based solely on finding that a defendant committed three traffic offenses, thereby lowering the prosecution’s burden of proof. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Section 2800.2, subdivision (b) does not create an impermissible mandatory presumption, but instead provides a definition of conduct which is the legal equivalent of willful disregard under section 2800.2. It is therefore a permissible rule of substantive law.