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Name: People v. Superior Court (Farley) (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 315
Case #: A168018
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/05/2024

The People satisfied their burden at the preliminary hearing to present evidence that Page Street is sufficiently “organized” to qualify as criminal street gang. The People alleged that defendant shot and killed four men in a drive-by shooting committed for the benefit of “Page Street,” which the People alleged is a “criminal street gang” under Penal Code section 186.22(f). In response to defendant’s 995 motion, the superior court ruled that the People had not satisfied their burden at the preliminary hearing to present evidence that Page Street is sufficiently “organized” to qualify as criminal street gang. Accordingly, the court dismissed a…

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Name: People v. Clark (2024) 15 Cal.5th 743
Case #: S275746
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 02/02/2024

Penal Code section 186.22’s requirement that gang members “collectively engage in” a pattern of criminal gang activity means there must be a nexus between the individual predicate offenses and the gang as an organized, collective enterprise; it does not mean that each of the two predicate offenses must be committed by two or more gang members. Clark was convicted of residential burglary and other offenses with gang enhancements. On appeal he argued, based on the changes made by Assembly Bill No. 333, that section 186.22 now requires proof that two or more gang members, acting in concert, committed each of…

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Name: People v. Gonzalez (2024) 98 Cal.App.5th 1300
Case #: F084952
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/23/2024

Assembly Bill No. 333’s amendments to Penal Code section 186.22 did not change the status of defendant’s prior conviction as a strike. Defendant was found guilty of multiple firearm and drug offenses. The trial court sentenced him as a second strike offender after finding that he had been convicted in 2002 of felony possession of a firearm with a gang enhancement. On appeal, defendant argued that his prior conviction no longer qualified as a strike after AB 333’s amendments to section 186.22. Held: Affirmed. The Court of Appeal agreed with other cases holding that the plain language of the Three Strikes…

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Name: Chavez v. Superior Court (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 165
Case #: B332361
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/25/2024

The trial court had inherent authority to reserve ruling on defendant’s pretrial motion to dismiss his gang enhancement allegations based on Assembly Bill No. 333 and to resubmit the allegations to the grand jury for the presentation of additional evidence bearing on the new elements. In 2017, Chavez and others were indicted by a grand jury on four felonies with gang enhancements. After AB 333 went into effect, Chavez moved to dismiss the gang enhancement allegations because the People had not presented evidence to the grand jury to support the new elements of the enhancement. The trial court ruled that…

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Name: People v. Rojas (2023) 15 Cal.5th 561
Case #: S275835
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 12/12/2023

Assembly Bill No. 333, which narrowed the definition of “criminal street gang,” did not unconstitutionally amend Proposition 21, and the new definition of “criminal street gang” properly applies to the gang-murder special circumstance added by that proposition. Rojas was convicted of first degree murder, and the jury found true gang and firearm enhancements and the gang-murder special circumstance (Pen. Code, § 190.2(a)(22)). On appeal, Rojas argued that all gang allegations should be reversed because AB 333 narrowed the definition of “criminal street gang” on which these charges relied. (See Pen. Code, § 186.22(f).) The Court of Appeal held the new…

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Name: People v. Ruiz (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 1068
Case #: B324477
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/13/2023

The resentencing court committed harmless error when it considered inapplicable aggravators to impose upper terms after Senate Bill No. 567 amended Penal Code section 1170. Ruiz was convicted of assault with a firearm with various enhancements, and this is his third appeal. His case had previously been remanded to the trial court for resentencing due to sentencing errors and new laws that applied in his case. At Ruiz’s second resentencing (which occurred after SB 567’s effective date), the trial court imposed a 4-year upper term on the assault with a firearm charge and the 10-year upper term for a firearm-use…

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Name: People v. Mitchell (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 1127
Case #: F084489
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/15/2023

Following remand for resentencing, appellant was entitled to the retroactive benefits of Assembly Bill No. 333. Mitchell was convicted felony offenses (including being an active gang member) and the jury found numerous gang enhancements true. Pursuant to Mitchell’s prior appeal, which occurred before AB 333 became law, his case was remanded for resentencing. By the time of the resentencing hearing, AB 333, which amended the law regarding the substantive gang offense and enhancement, had become effective. The trial court expressed concern whether the new law should be applied, but found itself bound by the scope of the remittitur and concluded…

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Name: People v. Aguirre (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 488
Case #: B323282
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/16/2023

A gang-enhanced felony committed before Assembly Bill No. 333’s effective date still qualifies as a prior serious felony within the meaning of the Three Strikes law. In 2022, defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, ammunition, and a machine gun. As to each charge it was alleged that defendant suffered a 2021 prior strike conviction for possessing a firearm for the benefit of a criminal street gang (§ 186.22, subd. (b)(1)). Defendant moved to dismiss the prior strike allegations, contending his violation of section 186.22 no longer qualified as a serious felony conviction after the passage of AB 333,…

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Name: People v. Trent (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 33
Case #: C096306
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/03/2023

Vacatur of defendant’s murder conviction under Penal Code section 1172.6 rendered his substantive gang offense (§ 186.22(a)) nonfinal for purposes of applying Assembly Bill No. 333. In July 2020, Trent filed a petition for resentencing pursuant to former section 1170.95 (now section 1172.6), which was granted. Trent’s murder conviction was redesignated as assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury with a great bodily injury enhancement, plus a substantive gang offense. Trent appealed the trial court’s failure to retroactively apply AB 333 to the gang conviction. Held: Reversed. Effective January 1, 2022, the substantive offense of active participation in…

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Name: People v. Lopez (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1110
Case #: E080032
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 07/25/2023

On remand for resentencing, trial court did not have jurisdiction to readjudicate defendant’s gang enhancement based on Assembly Bill No. 333’s amendments to Penal Code section 186.22. Lopez was convicted of murder and other offenses with gang and other enhancements. In his direct appeal, the court modified the sentence and reversed conditionally, remanding with directions to consider striking several of Lopez’s enhancements. In October 2022, the trial court struck some of the enhancements. On appeal from the resentencing, Lopez challenged the resentencing court’s refusal to apply changes to the Penal Code. He argued that under section 186.22 (as amended by…

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