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Name: People v. Roach
Case #: A144822
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 05/04/2016

Penal Code section 1170.18 does not prohibit a trial court from imposing the same aggregate term when resentencing a defendant pursuant to Proposition 47. In September 2014, Roach was sentenced to an aggregate term of four years, four months, for multiple felony offenses in three separate cases. In December 2014 he petitioned for resentencing on two of his offenses pursuant to Proposition 47. The court reduced the offenses to misdemeanors and imposed the same aggregate sentence previously ordered. On appeal Roach alleged the trial court erred in imposing the same aggregate term. Held: Affirmed. Proposition 47 made certain drug possession and property crimes misdemeanors unless committed by certain ineligible defendants. Penal Code section 1170.18 provides a procedure whereby defendants currently serving a felony sentence for an offense that is subject to reduction may petition for resentencing. Nothing in section 1170.18 prohibits a trial court, when resentencing a defendant, from ordering the same aggregate sentence as originally imposed. Even assuming the result Roach urges would better effectuate the voters’ intent to reduce prison populations, a reviewing court may not add provisions to a statute. Thus, where a section 1170.18 petition results in reduction of the conviction underlying the principle term to a misdemeanor, the trial court must select a new principle term and, in doing so, may reconsider all sentencing choices.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: