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Name: People v. Perry
Case #: B193654
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 09/11/2007

Penal Code section 654 prohibits punishment for two crimes arising from a single, indivisible course of conduct, and in determining whether there is a single objective in the commission of the crimes, the moment at which a defendant committed all of the elements of an offense is immaterial. The victim discovered appellant inside the victim’s car, removing the car stereo. When he shouted at appellant, appellant jumped out and ran with a screw driver and the stereo in his hand. The victim chased him and when he caught up to appellant, appellant adopted a fighting stance for a few seconds before running away. Appellant was convicted of car burglary and robbery and over appellant’s objection the court sentenced him to a concurrent term for the burglary. The trial court rationalized its decision on the fact that the burglary was complete when the robbery (i.e., preventing the victim from regaining his property) occurred. The appellate court distinguished robbery from assault and found this to be error, as the relevant factor is whether there were independent objectives.