Skip to content
Name: People v. Maultsby
Case #: S182042
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/05/2012

Penal Code section 1237.5 is inapplicable where appellant is convicted by trial of the substantive offense but has admitted a prior conviction and appeals. Appellant was convicted by a jury of felony petty theft. In a bifurcated proceeding, appellant admitted a “strike” and several prior convictions for theft. Without obtaining a certificate of probable cause, he appealed, contending he had not been properly advised before he entered his admissions. The appellate court dismissed the appeal, holding a certificate of probable cause was required to raise the issue. The Supreme Court reversed, disapproving People v. Fulton (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 1230. Applying rules of statutory construction to Penal Code section 1237.5, the Court concluded that Penal Code section 1237, subdivision (a), not section 1237.5, applies where a defendant does not plead guilty or no contest. Furthermore, requiring appellant to obtain a certificate of probable cause to contest the “strikes” admission would not promote judicial economy, that being the underlying purpose of section 1237.5, because with the jury trial conviction, a defendant has the right to pursue an appeal without limitation.