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Name: People v. Miles
Case #: S140413
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/29/2008

In determining whether a prior conviction was for a serious felony, where the prior conviction was under a statute that described conduct that could constitute a non-serious felony or a serious felony, the court can consider language appearing in the record of conviction to determine whether the conviction was for a serious felony. Appellant was charged with a “strike” from a 1976 federal conviction under U.S. Code section 2113 (a). The statute, in its entirety, includes a group of bank-related offenses under the title “Bank robbery and incidental crimes,” but does not use the terms robbery or bank robbery to describe the offenses set forth. At the court trial on the prior conviction, the People presented a certified Judgment and Probation/Commitment Order signed by the judge that recited that defendant pled guilty to armed bank robbery and kidnapping in violation of sections 2113 (a), 2113 (d), and 2113 (e). Appellant contended that there was insufficient evidence to support the trial court’s finding that the conviction was for a serious felony, because a conviction under the statute could be for an offense that is not a serious felony under the California “strike” statute. The Supreme Court rejected this position, noting that the federal judgment form not only described the offense as “bank robbery” but also indicated that the conviction involved aggravating conduct described as arming and kidnapping. As such, the trial court was entitled to draw the reasonable inference that the conviction was for committing the California serious felony of bank robbery.