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Name: People v. Sedillo
Case #: B248671
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/08/2015
Summary

Although a premeditated attempted murder prosecution may be commenced at any time, an attempted murder conviction must be dismissed if the premeditation allegation is not proven and the six-year limitations period has run. In 2010 Sedillo was charged with five counts of attempted murder (Pen. Code, §§ 664, 187, subd. (a)) and a number of other offenses stemming from her involvement in a 1992 gang shooting. The prosecutor further alleged that the attempted murders were premeditated. The jury convicted her of the attempted murders, but it found the premeditation allegations not true. Sedillo appealed, arguing, among other things, that the attempted murder convictions should be reversed as time barred. Held: Attempted murder convictions reversed. For felonies punishable by death or life in prison, there is no statute of limitations. (Pen. Code, § 799.) For felonies punishable by 8 years or more, but less than life, the statute of limitations is 6 years. (Pen. Code, § 800.) Under Penal Code section 805, the statute of limitations for a particular offense is determined by “the maximum punishment prescribed by statute for the offense, regardless of the punishment actually sought or imposed.” Although attempted murder and premeditated attempted murder are the same offense, section 664 provides two very different penalties. The maximum punishment for attempted murder is 9 years and the maximum punishment for premeditated attempted murder is life in prison. Here, the court concluded that it could not read section 805 to override the plain language of the specific statute of limitations in sections 799 and 800. “The Legislature’s intention that a six-year statute of limitations apply to attempted murder was manifest.” Because the jury acquitted Sedillo of the premeditation finding and the statute of limitations had run on the attempted murder charge, her attempted murder convictions must be reversed.