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Name: People v. Salazar (2023) 15 Cal.5th 416
Case #: S275788
Court: CA Supreme Court
Opinion Date: 11/20/2023

Remand was required where the sentencing court did not clearly indicate that it would have imposed the same sentence even if it had been aware of the scope of its discretionary powers under the current version of Penal Code section 1170. Defendant was sentenced to the middle term of three years for inflicting corporal injury plus a consecutive eight months for false imprisonment, with both terms doubled for a prior strike. While his appeal was pending, the Legislature enacted Senate Bill No. 567, which amended section 1170 to require a low term sentence if a qualifying trauma was a contributing…

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Name: People v. Hilburn (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 189
Case #: D080175
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/05/2023

Under amended Penal Code section 1170, the sentencing court’s consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors in selecting the middle term did not implicate defendant’s Sixth Amendment jury trial rights. Defendant, who was under 26 years old when he committed the underlying crimes, agreed to plead guilty to a robbery charge with a firearm enhancement in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining charges and a sentencing lid of 13 years. At sentencing, the court considered aggravating and mitigating factors, and imposed the middle term of four years for robbery and four years for the firearm enhancement, for a total of eight…

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Name: People v. Achane (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 1037
Case #: A165968
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/28/2023

Because defendant’s upper term sentence was not unauthorized and an objection to the sentence would not have been futile, defendant forfeited his request for resentencing under the recent amendments to Penal Code section 1170 by failing to raise the issues below. In 2022, defendant violated probation. The trial court ordered him to serve a sentence previously imposed in 2020, with execution of sentence suspended; that sentence included an upper term. On appeal, defendant argued he is entitled to resentencing for retroactive application of Senate Bill No. 567 and Assembly Bill No. 124, which were in effect at the time he was…

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Name: People v. Tilley (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 772
Case #: C096411
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/20/2023

Defendant’s claim that the trial court erred by failing to consider the low-term presumption of Penal Code section 1170(b)(6) was forfeited where defendant did not raise the issue, and trial counsel was not prejudicially ineffective for failing to raise the issue. Defendant pleaded no contest to robbery and was sentenced to the middle term. On appeal, he argued the trial court abused its discretion in imposing the middle term because the court did not consider his mental health problems in accordance with section 1170(b)(6). Held: Affirmed. Section 1170(b)(6), created a presumption in favor of the lower term if a defendant’s…

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Name: People v. Fredrickson (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 984
Case #: A164803
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/24/2023

To trigger Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (b)(6)(B)’s presumption in favor of a lower term sentence for defendants under 26, there must be an initial showing that defendant’s youth was a contributing factor in the commission of the underlying offense. Defendant was sentenced to the middle term for a felony offense committed when she was 23. She appealed, arguing that given her age, the trial court abused its discretion in failing to treat the lower term as the presumptive sentence under section 1170(b)(6)(B). Held: Affirmed. When evaluating a trial court’s failure to expressly apply a sentencing presumption, the record must affirmatively…

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Name: People v. Bautista-Castanon (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 922
Case #: A162579
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/28/2023

Under Penal Code section 1170, as amended by Senate Bill No. 567, there is no jury-finding requirement for facts used to impose a middle term when the lower term is the presumed sentence. Defendant was convicted of sexual penetration of a child (count 1), and a lewd act on a child (count 2) with a true finding that the defendant had substantial sexual conduct with the victim (Pen. Code, § 1203.066, subd. (a)(8)). The trial court imposed an indeterminate term of 15 years to life on count 1 and stayed an eight-year upper term on count 2 pursuant to Penal…

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Name: People v. Kelly
Case #: B318060
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/29/2022

Newly enacted Penal Code section 1170, subdivision (b)(6) (addressing imposition of the lower term when certain mitigating circumstances are present), does not apply to sentences imposed pursuant to a negotiated plea with a stipulated sentence. Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement with a stipulated sentence, Kelly pleaded guilty to first degree residential burglary and admitted one prior strike, two prior serious felony enhancements, and seven prior prison terms. The trial court imposed the 18-year sentence the parties agreed to, which included a middle term for the burglary. Her first appeal was dismissed for lack of a certificate of probable cause.…

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