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Name: Sanchez v. Superior Court
Case #: B160255
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/18/2002
Subsequent History: Rehg. denied 11/14/02.

In this pretrial writ, Sanchez, who was charged with capital murder, sought an order directing the trial court to accept his plea of guilty to an unspecified charge of murder, leaving it to the trial court to determine the degree of the murder pursuant to Penal Code section 1192. The appellate court here denied the writ. Where the language of the information charges a defendant with only first degree murder, he can plead guilty to first degree murder, but may not utilize the procedures of section 1192 to determine the degree of the offense. Section 1192 was enacted to assure certainty in the degree of a conviction before sentencing, not to apply where the accusatory pleading leaves no doubt as to the degree of murder charged.