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The People v. Shawntay Raulston

October 26, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
SHAWNTAY RAULSTON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 10F06212)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie , Acting P. J.

P. v. Raulston 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Shawntay Raulston pled no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted violating her probation in a 2006 Sacramento County case. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the court suspended imposition of sentence and placed defendant on five years' formal probation subject to one year in the county jail. The trial court subsequently denied defendant's motion to withdraw the plea and vacate her admission to violating probation.

Having obtained a certificate of probable cause, defendant contends on appeal that the denial of her motion to withdraw the plea was an abuse of discretion, and trial counsel was ineffective in failing to investigate defendant's probation status. We affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On September 19, 2010, defendant returned to her home after being gone for the weekend. After determining that her children disobeyed her instructions, defendant attacked one of her children, 14-year-old M. H., with a steak knife and large carving fork. Defendant also struck M. H. about the head and shoulders with a plastic coat hanger, breaking the hanger into pieces.

Defendant pled no contest to assault with a deadly weapon on October 3, 2011. On November 10, 2011, defendant filed a motion to withdraw her plea on the basis that she was no longer on probation in the 2006 case when she entered her plea. Probation had expired in June 2011. At a hearing on her motion, defense counsel argued that defendant was entitled to withdraw her plea because she believed that even if she was acquitted following a trial, she would still be subject to incarceration on the Sacramento County probation violation. When the trial court pointed out that she was still on probation in a Placer County case, defense counsel replied that defendant's "position in dealing with the violation of probation in another county before a court that did not hear the evidence at the trial would be different than dealing with the Court who heard the evidence at the trial."

Counsel also asserted that the possibility of having probation violated following an acquittal was discussed during the plea negotiations, and he had advised defendant of this possibility. The court pointed out that much of the plea negotiations involved demonstrating to defendant the "overwhelming" strength of the People's case, and defendant accepted the plea only after going over the evidence and having a night to think about it. Counsel admitted having a conversation with defendant about the 911 tapes, but maintained that defendant's "reason for the plea was the probation case."

The trial court found that defendant's admission of the probation violation was "a minor part" of the plea agreement. Defendant's probation in the 2006 case was not summarily revoked at arraignment on the instant case in September 2012 or it would not have expired. According to the trial court, the Sacramento County probation did not matter to the court's acceptance of the plea agreement, which was "very fair" to defendant. Since defendant was on probation in Placer County at the time of the plea, the status of defendant's Sacramento County probation provided no legal basis for withdrawing her plea.

DISCUSSION

I

Motion To ...


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