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Name: People v. Salas
Case #: D070569
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/13/2017
Summary

Victim restitution for home security system reversed because defendant’s domestic violence conviction is not a violent felony. Salas attacked his wife, cracking her skull and causing a substantial loss of blood. He pleaded no contest to domestic violence (Pen. Code, § 273.5, subd. (a)) and the prosecution dismissed an allegation of personal infliction of great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 12022.7). His plea did not include a Harvey waiver (People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754). The trial court ordered Salas to pay his wife over $14,000 in victim restitution for a home security system, concluding that the probation report clearly showed Salas’s conduct caused his wife to suffer great bodily injury as defined in section 12022.7. On appeal Salas challenged the restitution order. Held: Reversed. Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (f) authorizes sentencing courts to award victim restitution to fully reimburse victims for economic losses resulting from a defendant’s criminal conduct. Expenses to install or upgrade home security incurred related to a violent felony may be awarded. (See Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (f)(3)(J).) “The statute’s plain language and legislative history, and . . . principles of statutory construction, support [the] conclusion that residential security expenses are recoverable under section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3)(J) only when they are ‘incurred related to a violent felony as defined in section 667.5, subdivision (c).'” Salas’ section 273.5 conviction is not an offense listed in section 667.5, subdivision (c), so it is not a violent felony for purposes of awarding restitution for a residential security system. Although offenses in which the defendant has inflicted great bodily injury, and a corresponding enhancement has been charged and proved, are violent felonies (see Pen. Code, §667.5, subd. (c)(8)), the great bodily injury enhancement was dismissed in this case.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/D070569.PDF