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Name: People v. Marquez (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 704
Case #: D080411
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/18/2023

People v. Arbuckle (1978) 22 Cal.3d 749, does not require the same judge who approves a plea bargain also determine the amount of victim restitution. Marquez pleaded guilty to several offenses and was sentenced to a prison term. A hearing on victim restitution was held several months later before a different judge. At the hearing, Marquez objected because she had not signed an Arbuckle waiver. The judge overruled the objection and ordered her to pay victim restitution. She appealed. Held: Affirmed. In Arbuckle, the court was concerned with preserving a defendant’s “reasonable expectation” that the same judge who approves a plea bargain will also get to exercise discretion in choosing from the multiple dispositions available at sentencing (e.g., granting probation or imposing a prison term). In awarding victim restitution, by contrast, a judge has no similar discretion to select from a “range of dispositions available,” because in every case in which a victim has suffered economic loss as a result of the defendant’s conduct, the court shall order full restitution. Although a victim restitution award is ultimately included in a defendant’s sentence, determination of the amount of restitution is outside the scope of discretionary sentencing choices which are “an inherently significant factor in the defendant’s decision to enter a guilty plea.” Therefore, a defendant has no reasonable expectation the same judge who accepted the guilty plea will also decide the amount of victim restitution.