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People v. House

April 9, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
SHANTAL HOUSE, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Gary J. Ferrari, Judge. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. Nos. NA076708/VA104177).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chaney, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION*fn1

Defendant/Appellant Shantal House was charged in two separate informations with numerous theft-related offenses. Following plea negotiations, Appellant entered guilty pleas to one count from each information: (1) making a false financial statement, and (2) grand theft of an automobile, with the allegation that the property's value exceeded $50,000. (Pen. Code, §§ 487, subd. (d)(1), 532a, subd. (1), 12022.6, subd. (a)(1).)

Appellant challenges the amounts of the restitution and parole revocation fines imposed by the trial court. She contends the trial court did not realize that it had the discretion to impose lower fines. Although Appellant did not object to the fines in the trial court, she contends that we nonetheless should address the issue because the failure to object constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. We will hold that Appellant forfeited her right to object to the amounts of the fines and that she has failed to establish that her counsel provided ineffective assistance in failing to object. We will further hold that, even if Appellant did not forfeit her claim, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the fines.

Appellant filed supplemental briefing, contending that the recent amendment to Penal Code section 4019, concerning the calculation of presentence custody credits, applies retroactively to her sentence. We will hold that the amendment applies retroactively and will therefore remand for the trial court to recalculate the award of presentence custody credits.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background

A. Case Number NA076708

In April 2007, Appellant purchased a 2007 red Chrysler Sebring from Jerad Pressley, a salesman at a Long Beach Chrysler Jeep dealership. Appellant provided a social security number and what appeared to be a temporary license from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to complete the credit application. It was subsequently learned that the social security number Appellant provided belonged to someone who had died over 10 years earlier and that the DMV did not issue temporary licenses such as the one Appellant showed Pressley.

A Chrysler financial fraud investigator received information that three payments were made on the car, using a Washington Mutual account number belonging to the Long Beach Chrysler dealership. Appellant was seen driving the car, which she subsequently sold for $7,000. A repossessor for Chrysler stated that the car, which was valued at $24,000, was never recovered.

In February 2007, Appellant moved into an apartment building called the Enclave Apartments. It was subsequently learned that the social security number Appellant provided for the rental agreement belonged to someone who did not know Appellant and who did not give her permission to use his social security number. Sometime after June 2007, Appellant attempted to pay the rent on her apartment using two checks with the Long Beach Chrysler dealership's Washington Mutual account number on them. Although the checks displayed the dealership's bank account number, they did not have the dealership's logo and return address on them. Appellant was evicted from the apartment in September 2007, and at the time of the preliminary hearing in July 2008, Appellant owed Enclave Apartments $7,000 in rent.

B. Case Number VA104177

In June 2007, Appellant purchased a white Cadillac Escalade, completing the credit application in the name of Chantal Dee Love. The check she used was returned by the bank, and when the Cadillac dealer attempted to contact Appellant, they learned that the information she had provided on the credit application was false. Appellant had used the social security number of someone who lives in Indiana; this victim was forced to correct his credit reports.

In September 2007, police found the car and arrested Appellant. Officers searched Appellant's purse and found several fraudulent checks and a fraudulent driver's license in the name of Chancey Baker.

II. Procedural Background

In July 2008, Appellant was charged by information in NA076708 with twelve theft-related offenses: two counts of identity theft (Pen. Code, § 530.5); one count of grand theft auto (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (d)(1)); two counts of false financial statement (Pen. Code, § 532a, subd. (1)); three counts of forgery (Pen. Code, § 476); one count of grand theft of personal property (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (a)); two counts of theft of access card information (Pen. Code, § 484e, subd. (d)); and one count of grand theft of real property (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (a)). Appellant pleaded not guilty to all counts.

In July 2008, Appellant filed a Marsden motion (People v. Marsden (1970) 2 Cal.3d 118), seeking to discharge her ...


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