Future punishment cannot be considered to determine whether a defendant can be convicted of multiple charged crimes based on necessarily included offenses.
The California Supreme Court granted review in this case to determine whether enhancement allegations could be considered for purposes of the rule prohibiting multiple convictions based on necessarily included offenses. Following the appellate court’s opinion in this case, the Supreme Court held in People v. Reed that courts should consider the statutory elements and accusatory pleading in deciding whether a defendant may be convicted of an uncharged crime, but only the statutory elements in deciding whether a defendant may be convicted of multiple charged crimes. This case involved multiple charged crimes, and therefore the statutory or legal elements test applies. Enhancements are neither recognized nor considered in determining whether the defendant can be convicted of multiple crimes based on necessarily included offenses. The appellate court here relied on an additional factor not at issue in Reed: the potential for future multiple punishment arising from multiple convictions, in support of the conclusion that the enhancements must be considered. However, neither section 654 nor principles of double jeopardy require an exception from Reed’s bright-line test simply because a defendant might be subject to multiple punishment in future criminal proceedings should he reoffend. Therefore, the judgment of the appellate court must be reversed.