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Name: People v. Page
Case #: S230793
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/30/2017
Summary

Proposition 47 applies to violations of Vehicle Code section 10851 based on vehicle theft (as opposed to driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent) where the vehicle was worth $950 or less. Page was convicted of violating Vehicle Code section 10851, among other offenses. After the passage of Proposition 47, he petitioned the trial court to reduce his felony conviction to a misdemeanor. The trial court denied the petition and the Court of Appeal affirmed, concluding Proposition 47 did not affect the range of punishment under section 10851. The California Supreme Court granted review. Held: Affirmed without prejudice to the filing of a new petition. Proposition 47, effective November 5, 2014, reduced the punishments for certain drug and theft-related offenses, making them punishable as misdemeanors rather than felonies. It provides a procedure whereby eligible defendants may seek resentencing if their offense would have been a misdemeanor had Proposition 47 been in effect at the time of their crime. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a)). It also added Penal Code section 490.2, which provides that obtaining any property worth less than $950 by theft is petty theft and punishable as a misdemeanor. Section 10851 can be violated by either taking or driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent. After analyzing Proposition 47 and section 10851, the Court concluded that an eligible person convicted of violating section 10851 may be resentenced depending on the basis for the conviction, i.e., unlawful driving versus vehicle theft. Unlawfully taking a vehicle with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession is a form of theft and is therefore covered by Penal Code section 490.2. Page’s petition did not state that he was convicted of vehicle theft and did not provide information regarding the vehicle’s value, so it was properly denied. However, he may refile a petition for resentencing and provide the necessary evidence to support his claim. [Editor’s Note: Because the issue was not presented, the court did not consider whether equal protection or the avoidance of absurd consequences requires that Proposition 47 also extend to those convicted of taking a vehicle without the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession under section 10851.]

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S230793.PDF