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Name: People v. Escobedo (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 440 (and People v. Chavira)
Case #: B322608; B323765
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/12/2023

Trial court orders denying inmates’ petitions to strike their prior prison term enhancements pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.75 were nonappealable. The defendants, each currently serving consecutive terms for in-prison offenses, filed separate postjudgment requests to strike prior prison term enhancements. The petitions were denied and they appealed. Held: Appeals dismissed. After imposition of the prior prison term enhancements on these defendants, former Penal Code section 667.5(b) was amended (SB 136) to limit its application to prison terms served for sexually violent offenses. Later, SB 483 made SB 136 retroactive by creating a mechanism and timetable to strike such enhancements…

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Name: People v. Hiller (2023) 91 Cal.App.5th 335
Case #: A165126
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/09/2023

Prior convictions for robbery in Washington State did not support prior serious or violent conviction sentencing enhancement in California. The trial court found true the allegations that defendant had been convicted of three serious or violent felonies in Washington, specifically robbery. These offenses were used to treat his current offenses as third strike offenses and to impose two five-year enhancements. Hiller appealed, arguing the evidence did not support the trial court's findings related to his prior convictions in Washington State. Held: True findings of prior convictions reversed, remanded. The elements of robbery in Washington are broader than those in California,…

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Name: People v. Kelly
Case #: F071934
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/01/2018

Where defendant's two prior convictions were redesignated as misdemeanors prior to his sentencing in a new case, prior prison term enhancements (Pen. Code, 667.5, subdivision (b)) based on these prior convictions could not be imposed. Kelly was convicted of several felonies and the court found true nine prior prison term enhancements under section 667.5. Prior to sentencing in this case, Kelly's seventh and eighth prior prison term felonies were reduced to misdemeanors under Proposition 47. At sentencing for the current offenses, he argued that he should only be subject to a prior prison term enhancement for his two…

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Name: People v. Hudson
Case #: F074016
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/05/2018

Sentencing court's reliance on the preliminary hearing transcript in finding defendant's prior conviction qualified as a serious felony was impermissible and violated defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. In 2016, after a jury found Hudson guilty of mayhem, the court held a separate trial to determine whether his 1991 conviction for assault under Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1), was a serious felony within the meaning of section 667, subdivisions (a) and (d). To prove that Hudson's conviction was based on a theory involving use of a deadly weapon rather than by means likely to produce great bodily…

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Name: People v. Nguyen
Case #: E066293
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/11/2017

Trial court erred by imposing five-year prior serious felony enhancement (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (a)) where the information alleged the fact of the prior for purposes of a prior prison term enhancement and Three Strikes law, but failed to plead the prior serious felony enhancement. Defendant was convicted of first degree burglary (Pen. Code, § 459) and other offenses. He admitted he had a prior 2004 conviction for first degree burglary. The information had alleged that this prior (1) was a serious and violent felony within the meaning of the Three Strikes law (citing Pen. Code, § 667,…

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Name: People v. Bechtol
Case #: A146680
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 04/12/2017

Vehicle Code section 41403 does not independently authorize ineffective-assistance-of-counsel challenges to prior convictions in a subsequent proceeding. Bechtol was charged with two alcohol-related driving offenses within 10 years of a prior felony driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. (Veh. Code, §§ 23152, subds. (a) & (b), 23550.5.) He moved to strike his earlier felony DUI conviction on the ground that he received ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) in the earlier case. The trial court denied the motion as unauthorized. Bechtol pleaded guilty and was granted a certificate of probable cause. On appeal he argued that he was permitted to…

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Name: People v. Johnson
Case #: F071140
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/02/2017

Trial court did not err by refusing to strike a prison prior enhancement (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)) even though the felony underlying it was reduced to a misdemeanor "for all purposes" under Proposition 47 after sentencing. Johnson's 2014 sentence included a one-year prison prior enhancement based on a 2010 conviction for three counts of felony second degree commercial burglary. After Proposition 47 passed, Johnson requested that the felony conviction underlying the enhancement be reduced to a misdemeanor. Johnson's motion to recall his sentence and strike the enhancement was denied. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. Proposition 47 provides that once…

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Name: People v. Kindall
Case #: C078996
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/22/2016

It is error to impose a one-year prison prior enhancement (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b)) when the felony conviction underlying it was reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 47 (Pen. Code, § 1170.18) before the enhancement was found true. A jury convicted Kindall of battery and other offenses. Before a court trial on three alleged prison prior enhancements, he had the felony convictions underlying those enhancements reduced to misdemeanors pursuant to Proposition 47. However, the trial court still found the prior prison term allegations true and increased Kindall's sentence based on the prison priors. Kindall appealed. Held:…

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Name: People v. Eslava
Case #: A142881
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/14/2016

Trial court violated the Sixth Amendment by determining that defendant's prior battery conviction involved "personal infliction of serious bodily injury" and was therefore a serious felony for purposes of the Three Strikes law and a sentencing enhancement. Eslava was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. He also admitted a prior 2009 conviction for battery causing serious bodily injury, which was the basis for a number of enhancements. Following a successful appeal, the Court of Appeal remanded for the trial court to determine whether Eslava's prior battery conviction involved "personal infliction of serious bodily injury." The trial court concluded that it did based…

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Name: People v. Navarette
Case #: F069534
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/27/2016

Mexican murder conviction is not a serious felony under California law. Navarette was convicted of a number of offenses arising from a domestic incident with his ex-girlfriend. A prior serious felony enhancement and a strike prior were found true based on Navarette's 2006 murder conviction in Mexico. Navarette appealed, arguing that the Mexican offense did not include all the elements of murder in California and therefore the evidence was insufficient to support the prior serious felony enhancement and strike prior. Held: Reversed. "To qualify as a serious felony, a conviction from another jurisdiction must involve conduct that would qualify as…

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