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The People v. Juana Esquivel Pena

May 12, 2011

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JUANA ESQUIVEL PENA, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. NCR78450)

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

P. v. Pena

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Defendant Juana Esquivel Pena entered a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of possession of heroin for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11351), and also admitted that the amount possessed exceeded 10 kilograms (Health & Saf. Code, § 11370.4, subd. (a)(3)), in exchange for dismissal of the remaining charges and a stipulated prison term of 12 years. The trial court imposed a $2,400 restitution fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (b)) and assessed and suspended a $2,400 parole revocation restitution fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.45), neither of which were mentioned in the plea agreement.*fn1

On appeal, defendant contends that imposition of the restitution fines violated her plea agreement, thereby entitling her to have the fines reduced to the statutory minimum of $200 pursuant to People v. Walker (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1013 (Walker). The Attorney General argues that this case is more analogous to People v. Crandell (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1301 (Crandell), and that defendant is therefore not entitled to relief. We agree with defendant. The restitution and parole revocation restitution fines shall be reduced to the statutory minimum.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Defendant initialed and signed a form entitled "Acknowledgment of Rights and Defendant's Waiver For Entry of Guilty Plea" (plea form). The plea form was read to her by a Spanish language interpreter when she initialed and signed the form. Paragraph 7(a) of the plea form, initialed by defendant to indicate that she understood and agreed with the paragraph, states: "I understand that the maximum sentence for the offense(s) to which I am pleading guilty is/are 12 years in the state prison and, further, a fine of up to $20,000, plus any applicable penalty assessments."*fn2 The nature of the fine is not referenced on the form; nor is there a reference to the mandatory restitution fine anywhere on the plea form.

The court was presented with the executed plea form at the change of plea hearing. Defendant acknowledged that she had signed and initialed the plea form, and that she had understood her interpreter's reading of the form. After obtaining a waiver of defendant's constitutional rights, the following took place:

"THE COURT: Ms. Pena, the maximum penalty for the offense to which you would be pleading guilty with the special allegation includes the following: 12 years in State Prison; two fines totaling $20,000. [¶] Do you understand that? (Italics added.)

"DEFENDANT . . . : Yes."

As noted ante, the plea form only referenced "a fine of up to $20,000." It did not ...


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