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Name: People v. Soria
Case #: H031237
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/23/2008
Subsequent History: review granted 8/27/08 (S164796)

Separate restitution fines exceeding $10,000 on multiple consolidated cases are unauthorized. Soria pleaded guilty to multiple charges alleged in three separately filed complaints, and received a specified sentence of 35 years in exchange for the plea. The court imposed three separate restitution fines in each case totaling $10,600 and matching suspended parole revocation fines. On appeal, Soria argued that the imposition of separate fines in each case totaling more than $10,000 was unauthorized. The appellate court agreed. The maximum restitution fine which can be imposed is $10,000. When a plea bargain is used to reach a unified resolution at a single hearing, the defendant’s multiple cases are consolidated into one case for the purpose of restitution. Therefore, the $10,600 restitution fine was unauthorized, and the judgment was modified to strike the fines in two of the cases and to impose one restitution fine of $10,000. Appellant did not waive his right to challenge the validity of the restitution and parole revocation fines by making a general waiver of the right to appeal as part of the plea agreement. The fines were imposed after the plea and waiver. The plea bargain did not encompass any agreement concerning the imposition of separate fines in each case or fines totaling more than $10,000, and Soria is therefore not barred from challenging the imposition of the fines.