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Name: People v. Thomas
Case #: B234814
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/14/2013

Where a defendant is sentenced to two indeterminate terms, sentence for a Health & Safety Code section 11370.2 enhancement (prior drug conviction) must be imposed on both counts, subject to Penal Code section 1385. Appellant was convicted of possessing cocaine base for sale and transporting a controlled substance. He admitted two prior drug conviction enhancements, two prior prison term enhancements, and two prior “strike” convictions. The court sentenced him to two indeterminate life terms, but imposed the prior drug conviction enhancements on only one of the terms. Sentence modified. Had appellant been sentenced to determinate terms, only one set of section 11370.2 enhancements could be imposed. However, where both terms resulted in indeterminate life sentences, adding the enhancements on both counts is consistent with the logic of the Three Strikes law which uses a defendant’s status as a recidivist to separately increase the punishment for each new felony conviction. The trial court retains the ability to strike either or both of the enhancements on the second count and on issuance of the remittitur may exercise its discretion to do so.