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Name: People v. Vargas
Case #: B231338
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 06/04/2012
Subsequent History: Review granted 9/12/12: S203744

Where the prior “strike” convictions arise from a single act, the court may consider this as a factor in determining whether to dismiss a “strike,” but retains discretion to decline to dismiss the prior “strike.” Appellant was convicted of burglary, grand theft, and conspiracy to commit grand theft, with two prior “strike” convictions, and was sentenced to a life sentence. In 1999, she had been convicted of carjacking and robbery, and following the conviction, had violated parole on two occasions, and committed a new crime, misdemeanor trespass, in addition to the instant offense. On appeal she contended that the trial court erred in denying her motion to dismiss one of the “strike” convictions because the offenses arose from a single act. The court rejected her contention, finding that there is no rule of automatic dismissal for “strikes” arising from the same act, regardless of whether the sentence for one of the crimes was stayed pursuant to Penal Code section 654. However, this is a factor that the court can consider in exercising its discretion to dismiss a prior “strike” conviction pursuant to People v. Superior Court (Romero) (1996) 13 Cal.4th 497. Here, in considering appellant’s prior record and recidivism, the court did not abuse its discretion in declining to dismiss one of the prior “strikes.”