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People v. Page

Filed 11/30/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S230793 v. ) ) Ct.App. 4/2 E062760 TIMOTHY WAYNE PAGE, ) ) San Bernardino County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. FVI1201369 ____________________________________) Approved by the voters in 2014, Proposition 47 (the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”) reduced the punishment for certain theft- and drug-related offenses, making them punishable as misdemeanors rather than felonies. To that end, Proposition 47 amended or added several statutory provisions, including new Penal Code section 490.2, which provides that “obtaining any property by theft” is petty theft and is to be punished as a misdemeanor if the value of the property taken is $950 or less. A separate provision of Proposition 47, codified in Penal Code section 1170.18, subdivision (a), establishes procedures under which a person serving a felony sentence at the time of Proposition 47’s passage may be resentenced to a misdemeanor term if the person “would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under [Proposition 47] had this act been in effect at the time of the offense.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a).) The question in this case concerns the application of these provisions to a prior conviction under Vehicle Code section 10851, taking or driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent. 1 At the time of Proposition 47’s passage, defendant Timothy Wayne Page was serving a felony sentence for a violation of Vehicle Code section 10851, among other offenses. Shortly after Proposition 47 was passed, defendant filed a petition for resentencing under Proposition 47. The trial court denied the petition and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that Proposition 47 did not affect punishment under Vehicle Code section 10851. We conclude the lower courts erred in holding that a defendant with a Vehicle Code section 10851 conviction is categorically ineligible for resentencing under Proposition 47. Penal Code section 1170.18 (section 1170.18) does not expressly refer to Vehicle Code section 10851, but it does permit resentencing to a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 490.2 (section 490.2) for theft of property worth $950 or less. As this court has previously explained, Vehicle Code section 10851 may be violated in several ways, including by theft of the vehicle. (People v. Garza (2005) 35 Cal.4th 866, 871.) A person convicted before Proposition 47’s passage for vehicle theft under Vehicle Code section 10851 may therefore be resentenced under section 1170.18 if the person can show the vehicle was worth $950 or less. Because defendant’s uncounseled petition in this case provides no information concerning the basis for his Vehicle Code section 10851 conviction, it fails to establish either that defendant was convicted for theft of the vehicle or that the vehicle was worth $950 or less. The trial court therefore properly denied defendant’s petition. But because defendant is entitled to the opportunity to allege and prove his eligibility for resentencing, we modify the judgment of the Court of Appeal to provide that its affirmance of the superior court’s denial order …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court