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Name: People v. Rodriguez
Case #: S159497
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/20/2009

Where multiple enhancements stemming from personal use of a firearm attach to a single offense, Penal Code section 1170.1, subdivision (f) limits the sentence on the enhancements to the one with the greatest penalty. While riding in a car with gang members, appellant, also a gang member, shot at three rival gang members. He was convicted of three counts of assault with a firearm (Pen. Code, sec. 245, subd. (a)(2)), with the jury finding true as to each count, enhancements pursuant to sections 12022.5, subdivision (a) and 186.22, subdivision (b)(1)(C). The court sentenced appellant to consecutive terms for both enhancements on two of the assaults and a concurrent term for the third assault. Relying on section 654, the appellate court struck the punishment for the personal firearm-use enhancement. Although agreeing that it was error to impose penalty for the firearm-use enhancement, the Supreme Court declined to consider whether section 654 applied, and instead relied on section 1170.1, subdivision (f), which limits the use of firearm enhancements to the greatest enhancement. The Court found this section applicable because the gang enhancement applied only because appellant used a firearm which use also was charged and proved under section 12022.5, subdivison (a). With its finding, the Court declined to consider whether section 654 applies to sentence enhancements based on the nature of the offense.