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Name: People v. Whitmer
Case #: S208843
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/24/2014

A defendant may be convicted of multiple counts of grand theft based on separate and distinct acts of theft, even if committed pursuant to a single overarching scheme. Appellant was convicted of 20 counts of grand theft based on his involvement in the fraudulent sale of motorcycles and dirt bikes at a dealership. Each count of grand theft was based on a separate and distinct act, but all the sales were part of single scheme. The Court of Appeal affirmed the convictions. The California Supreme Court granted review to resolve a conflict in the Courts of Appeal over the…

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Name: People v. Rader
Case #: B247088
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 07/23/2014

Defendant who failed to pay for restaurant meal may be convicted of felony petty theft with a prior (Pen. Code, §§ 484, subd. (a), 666) instead of misdemeanor defrauding an innkeeper (Pen. Code, § 537, subd. (a)) because the statutes do not conflict. Rader paid $100 of his restaurant check with counterfeit $20 bills. He was convicted of burglary, two counts of felony theft (due to prior theft convictions), and two counts of forgery. On appeal Radar claimed he could not be convicted of petty theft with a prior (Pen. Code, §§ 484, subd. (a), 666), a felony, because his…

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Name: People v. Delarosarauda
Case #: B248615
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/20/2014

The trial court did not have authority to issue a protective order barring an appellant convicted of corporal injury to a co-habitant from having contact with his son or stepdaughter who were not victims. Appellant was convicted of corporal injury to a co-habitant (Pen. Code, § 273.5, subd. (a)) and other offenses. At sentencing, the trial court issued a criminal protective order as to the victim and her two children for the duration of 10 years. It included a provision ordering appellant not to contact the protected parties, except through defense counsel. Appellant challenged the protective order on…

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Name: People v. Harris
Case #: E058521
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/25/2014

There was sufficient evidence to support a Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision (c)(21) enhancement where the perpetrator entered a converted garage that had no direct access to the main part of the residence. Harris was convicted of first degree burglary, with an enhancement that a person other than an accomplice was present in the residence (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (c)(21)). The evidence at trial showed that, in the middle of the night, the victims heard Harris enter their converted garage, which they used as a guestroom. After seeing Harris through the bedroom window, one of the victim’s…

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Name: People v. Goolsby
Case #: E052297
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/14/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/23/2014: S216648

Reversal was required where setting fire to a motor home was not "arson of an inhabited structure." Following an argument with his girlfriend, Goolsby used a vehicle to push an inoperable motor home next to the one in which he was living and in which his girlfriend was sleeping. He then set fire to it. The girlfriend escaped, but the fire spread to the home in which she had been sleeping, destroying both. A jury found Goolsby guilty of arson of an inhabited structure in violation of Penal Code section 451, subdivision (b) and was sentenced to 25 years to…

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Name: People v. Goolsby
Case #: E052297
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/30/2013
Subsequent History: Rehearing granted

A motor home that is not somehow fixed in place is not an inhabited structure for the purpose of arson, as defined in Penal Code section 451, subdivision (b). By jury trial, appellant was convicted of violating section 451, subdivision (b), and, because of prior "strikes" convictions, was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. Under section 451, subdivision (b), a person is subject to the enhanced penalty under the arson statute if the arson is of an "inhabited structure or inhabited property." The prosecutor elected to charge appellant only with arson of an inhabited structure,…

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Name: People v. Carrasco
Case #: B236391
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/25/2012

Appellant's singly angry impulse which resulted in damage to property owned by two separate victims was properly aggregated for purposes of elevating the offense to felony vandalism. Appellant was convicted of felony vandalism for throwing a statue through the front window of a house in which his mother was temporarily residing, and breaking her car windows. On appeal, he contended that because his father was the sole owner of the house, and the damage to the house and car respecively did not total $400 or more, he could be convicted only of two counts of misdemeanor vandalism. The appellate…

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Name: People v. Tuggle
Case #: B228064
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/24/2012

The presence of the defendant's fingerprint on a movable object inside a residence was sufficient evidence of identity from which to support a burglary conviction. The burglary was of a model home that had been cleaned regularly during the time it was open on display. It had been closed and locked until the time of the burglary. Appellant stated at the time of his arrest that he had not been in any model homes in the area over the last two years. His statements excluded any possible innocent conduct as the source of the fingerprints.

There was no error…

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Name: People v. Jaska
Case #: D057204
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/27/2011

The question of whether multiple takings from a single victim are a single offense committed pursuant to one intention, one general impulse, and one plan is a question of fact under People v. Bailey (1961) 55 Cal.2d 514, 519. The case involved grand theft by embezzlement over several years. One count involved withdrawals of large amounts of money from a petty cash fund. A second count involved unauthorized monthly lease payments for her automobile. Two other counts included many monthly payments for her personal American Express and Visa credit card bills. These were different ways of abusing the position of…

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Name: People v. Vinson
Case #: F059302
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/28/2011

The amendment to Penal Code section 666, which took effect on September 9, 2010, applies retroactively. The statute once allowed punishment as a felony for "petty theft with a prior." The new statute allows punishment as a felony for petty theft if the person has been convicted three or more times of petty theft, grand theft, auto theft, etc. and having served a term therefore in any penal institution or having been imprisoned therein as a condition of probation for that offense. Vinson's conviction was not yet final when the new statute went into effect. The Attorney General conceded retroactivity…

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