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People v. Barclay

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

July 11, 2013

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
DONAVON HICKS BARCLAY III, Defendant and Appellant.

Santa Cruz County Super. Ct. No. M58118, The Honorable Ariadne J. Symons

Attorney for Defendant and Appellant Donavon Hicks Barclay III: Dena Meierhenry under appointment by the Court of Appeal for Appellant

Attorneys for Plaintiff and Respondent The People: Kamala D. Harris Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Catherine A. Rivlin, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Bruce M. Slavin, Deputy Attorney General

RUSHING, P.J.

Defendant Donavon Hicks Barclay III was convicted of violating Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a)[1] (driving under the influence of alcohol) and section 23152, subdivision (b) (driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher). Due to defendant’s prior juvenile adjudication for felony vehicular manslaughter, the trial court elevated the convictions to felonies pursuant to section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3). On appeal, defendant contends that section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3) requires an adult conviction for felony vehicular manslaughter—not a juvenile adjudication for felony vehicular manslaughter—in order to elevate a section 23152 conviction to a felony. As set forth below, we conclude that the plain language of section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3) authorized the elevation of defendant’s section 23152 convictions to felonies. We therefore will affirm.

Factual and Procedural History

On November 18, 2010, defendant drove his car off State Route 35 and crashed the car into a tree. Defendant sustained serious injuries during the crash, and he was transported to the hospital. Defendant gave a blood sample at the hospital, and the alcohol content of the blood was 0.15 percent.

An information charged defendant with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (§ 23152, subd. (a)) and one count of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher (§ 23152, subd. (b)). The information alleged, pursuant to section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3), that defendant’s prior juvenile adjudication for vehicular manslaughter (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (c)(1)) elevated the charged offenses to felonies. The information further alleged that defendant had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher (§ 23578).

Defendant waived his right to a jury trial, and he elected a court trial on the issue of whether the prior juvenile adjudication for vehicular manslaughter could elevate the charged offenses to felonies. At the court trial, the court took judicial notice of several documents in defendant’s juvenile court file. One of the documents, a juvenile wardship petition, alleged that on November 3, 2007 17-year-old defendant committed felony vehicular manslaughter in violation of Penal Code section 192, subdivision (c)(1) and misdemeanor driving under the influence of a drug in violation of section 23152, subdivision (a). Another document, the minute order for the initial appearance on the wardship petition, specified that defendant admitted a felony violation of Penal Code section 192, subdivision (c)(1) and a misdemeanor violation of section 23152, subdivision (a). A final document, the minute order for the juvenile disposition hearing, stated the following: the juvenile court declared defendant a ward of the court, the juvenile court placed defendant on probation with conditions including 180 days on an electronic monitoring program and 200 hours of community service, and the maximum period of confinement for defendant’s offenses was six years and two months.

At the conclusion of the court trial, the court ruled that defendant’s juvenile adjudication for vehicular manslaughter elevated the charged crimes to felonies under section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3). The court accordingly found true the allegation pursuant to section 23550.5, subdivision (a)(3).

After the court trial, defendant pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. Defendant admitted that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher.

The court suspended imposition of sentence and placed defendant on probation for a period of 60 months. As a condition of probation, the court ordered defendant to serve 365 days in county jail. The court ordered defendant to serve a portion of the jail term in a residential sobriety program.

After he was sentenced, defendant filed a timely notice of appeal. ...


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