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Name: People v. Superior Court (Jefferson)
Case #: E030590
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/09/2002
Subsequent History: None

Jefferson was charged with possession of methamphetamine with two prior robbery strikes in 1984 and 1985. He entered into a negotiated plea agreement and was sentenced to a drug treatment program under Proposition 36. The prosecutor appealed, arguing that the five-year washout period did not apply, in that appellant went to prison in 1999 for another drug offense. The appellate court here issued an order setting aside the probation grant. Under Penal Code section 1210.1, subdivision (b)(1), appellant would have had to be free from prison custody since October, 1996, in order to be eligible for Proposition 36 sentencing. Although the statute is ambiguous, interpreting it to require that the washout period immediately precede the drug offense is in accord with voter intent. Further, appellant was charged with solicitation of prostitution as well as the instant drug offense. The fact that the court allowed him to plead guilty to that count separately did not change the fact that both charges arose from a single incident and were charged in the same information. Appellant was therefore not eligible for Proposition 36 sentencing under section 1210.1, subdivision (b)(1).