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Name: People v. Pak
Case #: B266718
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/05/2016
Summary

In commercial burglary involving the pawning of stolen goods, the relevant value for Proposition 47 purposes is the amount the defendant received in exchange for the goods. In 2012, Pak pleaded guilty to various felony theft and forgery charges and was placed on probation. After completing probation, she sought to reduce several of her burglary and theft felonies to misdemeanors under Proposition 47. The trial court denied the petition as to one burglary count, because Pak entered a shop intending to pawn items that had a value greater than $950, although in fact she received less than $950 for the property. Pak appealed. Held: Affirmed without prejudice. Proposition 47 reclassified certain drug and theft-related felonies as misdemeanors for eligible defendants. It added misdemeanor shoplifting to the Penal Code (Pen. Code, § 459.5), defined as entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property taken does not exceed $950. A defendant who has completed her sentence may petition to reduce her conviction for an enumerated felony to a misdemeanor (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (f)). Where the property is actually taken, it is the value of that property that is relevant to determine whether an offense comes within the shoplifting statute. The trial court erred when it focused on the value of the property Pak was pawning and her intent to obtain as much as possible for it, because Pak actually obtained money from the pawnshop. Therefore, it is the value of the property obtained, not the value of the property that was pawned, that is relevant in determining whether her act constituted shoplifting.

Pak failed to produce competent evidence that the value of the property she received from the pawn shop was less than or equal to $950. Although Pak said she received less than $950 for pawning the stolen property, and the prosecution did not dispute this representation, Pak did not provide sufficient admissible evidence to establish the value of the property taken. The pawn slips were not offered in evidence and there was no testimony or declaration regarding the value of the property received. Nonetheless, Pak may re-file her petition with adequate supporting evidence.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B266718.PDF