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The People v. Ashley Aimee Hall

January 14, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
ASHLEY AIMEE HALL, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 72006290)

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

P. v. Hall

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Ashley Aimee Hall pleaded no contest to felony child abandonment. (Pen. Code, § 271a.)*fn1 After substituting retained counsel for her appointed counsel, defendant filed a motion to withdraw her plea, which was denied. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the trial court placed defendant on five years' probation with 90 days in county jail and suspended the jail term on the condition that she speak to five community organizations about her experience. Within one to two years, the trial court would consider reducing the offense to a misdemeanor pursuant to section 17, subdivision (b).

On appeal, defendant contends it was an abuse of discretion to deny her motion to withdraw the plea, and she received ineffective assistance of counsel in the entry of her plea. We affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts of defendant's crime are taken from the police report, which formed the factual basis of her plea.

On October 15, 2009, at around 4:11 p.m., a Placer County Sheriff's deputy was dispatched to Tahoe Vista to investigate a report of a four-year-old boy found wandering without adult supervision in the area of Toyon Road and National Avenue. The deputy arrived at 4:26 p.m., about 21 minutes after the dispatcher received the first call. A witness reported that he saw the child on the side of the road as he left his house. The boy appeared to be upset and crying; the witness could not locate the boy's mother, so he called the sheriff's department. The boy was with the witness and appeared to be healthy.

The boy's mother, defendant, arrived about 10 minutes after the deputy arrived at the scene, and about 31 minutes from the first call to the sheriff's department. She had driven to Tahoe City that day to pick up her daughter from day care. Her son had been feeling sick and complained that he did not want to go, so defendant left him at home while she went to pick up her daughter. She drove as fast as she could but was delayed by ongoing construction on Highway 28.

Defendant admitted to making a serious mistake. She showed worry and genuine remorse when she found out that her son had wandered out of the house.

The deputy estimated the average delay at the construction zone in Tahoe City was 10 to 20 minutes one way. Including driving time and the construction delay in both directions, defendant could have been gone for an hour or more, and was absent for at least 31 minutes.

The interior of defendant's home did not show any obvious signs of neglect or danger to the children. The home was heated, clean, and organized, with food in the kitchen and appropriate clothing for the children. The children were left with defendant, and the matter was referred to family services intake, which did not send a case worker.

Defendant was initially charged with felony child endangerment. (§ 273a, subd. (a).) She completed an advisement of rights form for her plea to felony child abandonment. (§ 271a.) Defendant signed and dated the following box on the form: "Defendant's statement: I have read the front and back of this form. I have had enough time to speak with my attorney; I have told my attorney everything I know about this case; my attorney has explained to me my rights, my defenses and the possible consequences of my plea, including the consequences explained on the second page of this form.[*fn2 ] I am entering this plea freely and voluntarily." Defendant's appointed trial counsel, Placer County Public Defender Barry W. Jones, signed and dated a statement that he had sufficient time to explain the case to his client, "including the elements of the crime, and I have advised him/her of his/her rights, defenses and the consequences of his/her plea."

The plea colloquy was conducted by Placer County Superior Court Commissioner Trilla E. Bahrke. Defendant admitted to going over the plea form. Without objection, the trial court amended the complaint to include a charge of felony child abandonment. After defendant entered a no contest plea to the child abandonment ...


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