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Name: People v. Saldana (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 1270
Case #: C097966
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/19/2023

A defendant is entitled to a full resentencing hearing under Penal Code section 1172.75 (Senate Bill No. 483) if their now-invalid prior prison term enhancements were imposed and stayed. In 2013, a jury found defendant guilty of possession for sale of a controlled substance and he was sentenced to 25 years to life as a three strikes offender. The trial court also imposed and stayed four prior prison term enhancements. In 2023, after referral from CDCR, the trial court held a resentencing hearing under section 1172.75. The court struck the stayed prison priors but declined to conduct a full resentencing hearing, finding that striking a stayed enhancement did not trigger a reopening of sentencing as would an unstayed enhancement. Defendant appealed. Held: Sentence vacated and remanded. Section 1172.75(a), provides that enhancements “imposed” pursuant to section 667.5(b) prior to January 1, 2020, with limited exceptions, are legally invalid. In this context, the word “imposed” applies to enhancements that are “imposed and then executed” as well as those that are “imposed and then stayed.” This interpretation is consistent with the purpose of the statutory amendments, which were expressly aimed at reducing sentences. Because the statute mandates striking the now invalid enhancements, the statute by its express terms—and backed by supportive case law—also requires that defendant receive a full resentencing. [Editor’s Notes: (1) This was an opinion on rehearing. Initially, the Attorney General conceded a full resentencing was required and the Court of Appeal agreed and remanded for a resentencing hearing. In a petition for rehearing, the Attorney General stated that their concession was in error. The Court of Appeal issued this opinion on rehearing after requesting supplemental briefing on the issue. (2) There is a split of authority on the issue of SB 483’s application to stayed prison prior enhancements. (Compare People v. Christianson (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 300 [full resentencing required based on SB 483 where prison priors were imposed but stayed] and People v. Renteria (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 1276 [same], with People v. Rhodius (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 38 [defendant not entitled to resentencing where prior prison terms were stayed because they were not “imposed” as required by section 1172.75 for resentencing eligibility].)