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Name: People v. Williams
Case #: S114184
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/16/2005
Subsequent History: rehng. den. 6/22/05
Summary

Appellant was charged with two “wobbler” offenses which were charged as felonies. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the court reduced the offenses to misdemeanors pursuant to Penal Code section 17, subdivision (b)(5). The prosecutor moved in Superior Court to reinstate the felonies, and the motion was denied. The prosecutor filed separate appeals from the magistrate’s order reducing the offenses to misdemeanors and from the superior court’s denial of the motion to reinstate the felony complaint. The Supreme Court granted review to determine whether either order was appealable by the prosecutor. The Court held that the prosecutor may not appeal a magistrate’s order reducing “wobbler” offenses to misdemeanors. The Court expressed no opinion on whether the prosecutor could obtain writ review of those decisions. The superior court’s denial of the prosecutor’s motion to reinstate the felony complaint was an appealable order, but that appeal is without merit, because the magistrate’s determination under section 17(b)(5) was not subject to review. J. Baxter, Chin, and Brown dissented and urged the Legislature to amend the appropriate statutes to permit appellate review of a magistrate’s order.