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Name: People v. Rahbari
Case #: A139464
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/10/2014

Victim restitution ordered in connection with a split sentence is limited to those losses caused by the crimes of which a defendant is convicted. Rahbari was convicted of 26 counts of passing checks with insufficient funds. He received a county jail term followed by mandatory supervision (Pen. Code, § 1170, subd. (h)) and was ordered to pay victim restitution. On appeal he challenged the amount of victim restitution. Held: Reversed and remanded. A trial court’s authority to order victim restitution depends on whether the order is made pursuant to Penal Code section 1202.4, or as a condition of probation pursuant to section 1203.1. When ordered under section 1203.1, the court is authorized to order restitution as a condition of probation even when the loss was not necessarily caused by the criminal conduct underlying the conviction. But when a court imposes a prison sentence, section 1202.4 limits victim restitution to losses caused by criminal conduct that was the basis for the defendant’s conviction. When a defendant receives a “split sentence” in county jail followed by mandatory supervision, this is generally the equivalent of a state prison commitment. Since section 1170, subdivision (h) was enacted, the Legislature has amended some statutes governing the terms, conditions and procedures on probation to apply them to split sentences, but has not so extended other provisions. For instance, it did not extend the provisions regarding victim restitution in probation cases to split sentences, which reflects it did not intend victim restitution in mandatory supervision cases to be identical to restitution ordered incident to probation. Further, the granting of probation is a privilege which the defendant may refuse is he feels the terms are unduly harsh. No similar option exists with respect to mandatory supervision. The rationale underlying the broader discretion to order victim restitution in probation cases does not apply to split sentences and the court is limited to that allowed by section 1202.4.