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Name: People v. Miller
Case #: F049646
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/27/2007

In a noncapital case, sentencing is a proceeding separate and distinct from trial and a post verdict Faretta request that is timely, must be granted as a matter of right.

A criminal defendant has a constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment to represent himself at trial if he voluntarily and intelligently elects to do so. (Faretta v. California (1975) 422 U.S. 806.) If trial has commenced when the request is made, the Faretta request is not timely and the decision as to whether defendant can dismiss counsel and proceed pro se is within the trial court’s discretion. (People v. Windham (1977) 19 Cal.3d 121.) Here appellant was represented by counsel at trial but after the jury rendered a verdict and two months prior to the scheduled sentencing hearing he made a Faretta request. The court erred in finding the request untimely and applying discretionary factors to deny the request. As reversal of a timely Faretta motion is reversible per se, the sentence was vacated and remanded for resentencing.