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People v. Ruiz

Filed 5/17/18 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S235556 v. ) ) Ct.App. 5 F068737 FELIZ CORRAL RUIZ II, ) ) Tulare County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. VCF241607J ____________________________________) We granted review in this case to determine whether imposing a criminal laboratory analysis fee (Health & Saf. Code, § 11372.5, subd. (a)) and a drug program fee (Health & Saf. Code, § 11372.7, subd. (a)) is appropriate for a conviction of conspiracy to transport a controlled substance in violation of Health and Safety Code, section 11379, subdivision (a).1 The Court of Appeal answered this question in the affirmative based on Penal Code section 182, subdivision (a), which provides in relevant part that persons convicted of conspiring to commit a felony “shall be punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for the punishment of that felony.” In light of this provision, the court reasoned, because these fees must be imposed for a conviction of transporting a controlled substance, they must also be imposed for a conviction of conspiracy to transport a controlled substance. We agree with the Court of Appeal and affirm. 1 All further unlabeled statutory references are to the Health and Safety Code. 1 FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Pursuant to judicially authorized wiretapping, law enforcement officers heard defendant Feliz Corral Ruiz II, who is a member of a Norteño street gang, conspiring to shoot and kill members of another gang in retaliation for the shooting of a Norteño gang member. On July 28, 2012, several Norteño gang members shot at an apartment complex where members of the other gang were known to gather, hitting one person in the chest and another in the leg. In connection with these events, the People filed an information charging defendant with, among other crimes, conspiracy to transport a controlled substance in violation of section 11379, subdivision (a). Pursuant to a plea agreement, defendant pleaded no contest to this charge. As part of his sentence, the court imposed a $50 “criminal laboratory analysis fee” pursuant to section 11372.5, subdivision (a), and a $100 “drug program fee” pursuant to section 11372.7, subdivision (a). On appeal, defendant argued that these fees were “unauthorized” — and should therefore be stricken — because: (1) he was convicted, not of a drug offense specified in the statutes establishing the fees, but of conspiracy to commit one of the specified offenses; and (2) the fees are not “punishment” for purposes of the conspiracy sentencing statute — Penal Code section 182, subdivision (a) — which provides that persons convicted of conspiring to commit a felony “shall be punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for the punishment of that felony.” (Italics added.) The Court of Appeal disagreed, concluding that the fees constitute “punishment” within the meaning of Penal Code section 182, subdivision (a). We granted defendant’s petition for review to consider this conclusion.2 2 In addition to …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court