(Sutter Super. Ct. No. CRF10-1334) (Yuba Super. Ct. No. CRF08-73)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Butz ,j.
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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Rebecca Lyn Manley, also known herein as Rebecca Lynn Smith, entered a negotiated no contest plea in Sutter County Superior Court case No. CRF10-1334 to one count of welfare fraud, in exchange for (among other things) a promise that any jail time imposed by Sutter County as a condition of her probation would run concurrent with jail time that might be imposed in Yuba County case No. CRF08-73, should her probation in Yuba County be revoked by virtue of her Sutter County conviction.
Defendant's probation in Yuba County was indeed revoked as a result of her Sutter County conviction, and she was sentenced to serve 365 days in Yuba County jail. But the Sutter County trial court rejected defendant's request that the jail sentence imposed as a condition of her probation run concurrent with her Yuba County sentence, and instead ordered defendant to serve her 180-day Sutter County jail sentence consecutive to her Yuba County jail sentence.
In these consolidated appeals,*fn1 defendant contends that, and the People concede, the Sutter County Superior Court order that she serve her Sutter County jail sentence consecutive to the jail sentence imposed by Yuba County violates her plea bargain.
We agree. When a guilty or no contest plea is entered by the defendant in exchange for specified benefits, both parties, including the state, must abide by the terms of the agreement. (People v. Walker (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1013, 1024 (Walker).) "[W]hen a plea rests in any significant degree on a promise or agreement of the prosecutor, so that it can be said to be part of the inducement or consideration, such promise must be fulfilled." (Santobello v. New York (1971) 404 U.S. 257, 262 [30 L.Ed.2d 427, 433].) The state's failure to honor the agreement violates the defendant's due process rights for which the defendant is entitled to a remedy. (People v. Lopez (1998) 66 Cal.App.4th 615, 636.)
"A violation of a plea bargain is not subject to harmless error analysis. A court may not impose punishment significantly greater than that bargained for by finding the defendant would have agreed to the greater punishment had it been made a part of the plea offer. 'Because a court can only speculate why a defendant would negotiate for a particular term of a bargain, implementation should not be contingent on others' assessment of the value of the term to defendant. [¶] . . . [¶] Moreover, the concept of harmless error only addresses whether the defendant is prejudiced by the error. However, in the context of a broken plea agreement, there is more at stake than the liberty of the defendant or the length of [her] term. "At stake is the honor of the government[,] public confidence in the fair administration of justice, and the efficient administration of justice . . . ."'" (Walker, supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 1026.)
The promise of concurrent sentencing appears in the Sutter County trial court's minute order of the plea proceedings. Its subsequent denial of defendant's request to modify the terms of her probation to provide for concurrent, rather than consecutive, sentencing violated a material term of the court's plea agreement with defendant. (See Walker, supra, 54 Cal.3d at p. 1024.)
Defendant states in her appellant's brief that she has completed her sentence in Yuba County; the People do not dispute this assertion. Defendant asks that we remand this matter to the Sutter County court with directions to vacate its order for consecutive sentencing, enter an order nunc pro tunc for concurrent sentencing, and deem her Sutter County sentence served.
We shall remand the matter to the Sutter County trial court, with directions that it modify defendant's conditions of probation to provide for her to serve her 180-day jail sentence concurrent with her sentence in Yuba County case No. CRF08-73. If, as defendant represents, she has completed her sentence in Yuba County, the court shall deem her sentence in Sutter County served, as well.
The judgments of conviction are affirmed. Sutter County case No. CRF10-1334 is remanded to the trial court, which shall modify the order granting probation in that case to provide that defendant's 180-day jail sentence shall be served concurrent with her sentence in Yuba County case No. CRF08-73. The court shall also determine whether defendant's Sutter County sentence has, by ...