Skip to content
Name: People v. Vega
Case #: F065909
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/15/2014

Drug manufacturer must serve sentence in state prison where Health and Safety Code section 11379.7, subdivision (a) added an enhancement of “two years in state prison” to his sentence. Vega was arrested for cooking methamphetamine. His three minor children and seven-month old grandson were present in the home at the time. Vega was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, with a special allegation concerning the presence of the child under 16, pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11379.7, subdivision (a). Vega pleaded no contest and was sentenced to five years in state prison. Later, CDCR asked the court to review the sentence because the commitment offense met the criteria to serve the term in a county jail facility in accordance with the Realignment Act. Over the prosecutor’s objection, the court modified the sentence to a term in the county jail. The prosecutor appealed, contending that the court imposed an illegal sentence because section 11379.7, subdivision (a) expressly requires an additional punishment of “two years in the state prison,” therefore, even if the underlying offense otherwise allows for a local custody commitment under Realignment, the enhancement expressly provides otherwise. The appellate court agreed and remanded for resentencing. Absent legislative intent to the contrary, if an enhancement specifically provides for a term to be served “in state prison,” the entire term must be served in state prison.