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Name: People v. Rivera
Case #: H041742
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/29/2015
Summary

Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over case in which appellant was charged with a felony offense and then later resentenced as a misdemeanant under Penal Code section 1170.18 (Prop. 47). Rivera pled no contest to felony possession of a controlled substance (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350) and was placed on probation. During a probation violation proceeding, the court imposed a 16-month term on the felony possession offense. The court then granted Rivera’s petition for resentencing under Proposition 47, designated his offense as a misdemeanor, and imposed a jail sentence. Rivera appealed and the Court of Appeal requested briefing on the issue of whether it or the appellate division of the superior court possessed jurisdiction to hear an appeal after Proposition 47 resentencing. Held: The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction. The appellate division has jurisdiction over appealable orders from “misdemeanor cases” and the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over appealable orders from “felony cases.” To determine whether a case is a felony case or a misdemeanor case, the court looks at the charging document. (Pen. Code, § 691; Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.304.) If a felony is charged, the case is a felony case for purposes of appellate jurisdiction. This includes cases in which a wobbler offense is filed as a felony, but is later deemed a misdemeanor. (See Pen. Code, § 17, subd. (b).) Applying these statutes and rules, the court held that Rivera’s case was a felony case for purposes of appellate jurisdiction. Rivera was charged with a felony and the later designation of the offense as a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 did not retroactively convert his case. Although Proposition 47 states that a felony conviction designated as misdemeanor under its provisions “shall be a misdemeanor for all purposes” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (k)), similar language in Section 17, subdivision (b) has not been interpreted to divest the Court of Appeal of jurisdiction.