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Name: People v. Farias
Case #: C094195
Opinion Date: 05/26/2023
Attorney: Robert L. Angres

Because the record was completely silent as to whether the trial court made true findings that the appellant had previously been convicted of strikes under Penal Code sections 667, subdivision (e)(2), and 1170.12, subdivision (c)(2), the Court of Appeal held the appellant’s strike sentence was unauthorized. The sentence was vacated without prejudice as to the trial court’s ability to correct the record if it could be clearly shown that the omission of strike findings was a clerical error and not a failure to make a finding and disposition on those allegations.

Additionally, the court held Assembly Bill No. 518, which modified section 654 to give trial courts the discretion to choose the count on which to impose punishment (instead of having to choose the one that provided for the longest potential term of imprisonment), applies retroactively to the appellant’s case. Because the court was already remanding the case, it instructed the trial court to exercise its discretion under the current version of section 654.