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Name: People v. Villalobos
Case #: S176574
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/04/2012

Where neither the parties nor the trial court have specified the amount of the restitution fine in the plea bargain, the fine shall be set at the discretion of the court. At the time of appellant’s plea to a stipulated sentence, the court advised him that he might have to pay restitution but said nothing about imposition of the mandatory restitution fines pursuant to Penal Code sections 1202.4 and 1202.45. At sentencing, the court ordered appellant to pay a $4,000 restitution fine and a suspended $4,000 parole revocation fine. Appellant did not object. On appeal, relying on People v. Walker (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1013, appellant argued that the fine exceeded the terms of the plea bargain and a restitution fine above the statutory minimum may not be imposed when the fine is not mentioned by either party in the plea agreement nor by the court in the plea colloquy. The Supreme Court disagreed, overruling Walker to the extent that it supported appellant’s contention. If the parties intend to limit the court’s discretion in the imposition of the mandatory fine, such a term must be included in the terms of the plea bargain. [The dissent disagreed, stating that when the parties made no mention of the fines in the context of the plea bargain, it was implicitly agreed that the court could impose only the statutorily mandated minimum.]