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People v. DeHoyos

Filed 3/12/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) S228230 ) v. ) Ct.App. 4/1 D065961 ) VERONICA LORRAINE DEHOYOS et al., ) San Diego County ) Super. Ct. No. SCD252670 Defendants and Appellants. ) _____________________________________ ) Approved by voters in 2014, Proposition 47 (“The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” (Proposition 47)) reduces many common theft- and drug-related offenses from felonies to misdemeanors for offenders who do not have prior convictions for specified violent or serious offenses. The measure also permits eligible defendants who were serving felony sentences as of Proposition 47’s effective date to obtain the benefit of these changes by petitioning for resentencing. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a), as amended by Stats. 2016, ch. 767, § 1, p. 5313.) A court must grant a resentencing petition unless the court determines that resentencing the defendant “would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (b).) The question before us concerns the application of these provisions to defendants who were serving felony sentences on the measure’s effective date but whose judgments were on appeal and thus not yet final. Are such defendants entitled to automatic resentencing under Proposition 47, or must they instead seek resentencing through the statutory resentencing procedure, including the risk assessment prescribed by Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (b)? We conclude that resentencing is available to such defendants only in accordance with the statutory resentencing procedure in Penal Code section 1170.18 (section 1170.18). I. A. Proposition 47 was passed by voters at the November 4, 2014, General Election, and took effect the following day. The measure’s stated purpose was “to ensure that prison spending is focused on violent and serious offenses, to maximize alternatives for nonserious, nonviolent crime, and to invest the savings generated from this act into prevention and support programs in K–12 schools, victim services, and mental health and drug treatment,” while also ensuring “that sentences for people convicted of dangerous crimes like rape, murder, and child molestation are not changed.” (Voter Information Guide, Gen. Elec. (Nov. 4, 2014) text of Prop. 47, § 2, p. 70 (Voter Information Guide).) To these ends, Proposition 47 redefined several common theft- and drug-related felonies as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the offender’s criminal history. The redefined offenses include: shoplifting of property worth $950 or less (Pen. Code, § 459.5, subd. (a)); forgery of instruments worth $950 or less (Pen. Code, § 473, subd. (b)); fraud involving financial instruments worth $950 or less (Pen. Code, § 476a, subd. (b)); theft of, or receiving, property worth $950 or less (Pen. Code, §§ 490.2, subd. (a), 496, subd. (a)); petty theft with a prior theft-related conviction (Pen. Code, § 666, subd. (a)); and possession of a controlled substance (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11350, subd. (a), 11377, subd. (a)). While these offenses are now misdemeanors by default, they remain felonies for offenders who have previously been convicted of certain serious or violent crimes colloquially known …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court