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Name: People v. Wallace
Case #: S113321
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/26/2004

A trial court abused its discretion in striking a prior conviction based on the fact that the charges resulting in that conviction had been previously dismissed by a magistrate for insufficient evidence. In the earlier proceedings, the defendant had ultimately entered a no contest plea to willful discharge of a firearm into an inhabited dwelling, had stipulated to a factual basis, and had been specifically advised that the offense could later be alleged as a prior serious felony conviction. At his sentencing on new charges, however, the court struck the prior conviction under Penal Code section 1385 because of a magistrate’s earlier finding of insufficient evidence to support the discharge of a firearm charges. The Court of Appeal reversed the sentencing court, and the Supreme Court affirmed. Because the decision to strike the prior was based on a factor extraneous to the Three Strikes Law, the sentencing court abused its discretion.