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People v. Ramirez

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

March 19, 2014

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
RAUL ERNESTO RAMIREZ, Defendant and Appellant.

Monterey County Superior Court Superior Court No. SS112181, Hon. Julie R. Culver Trial Judge.

Page 1079

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1080

COUNSEL

Sharon Fleming, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris Attorney General Dane R. Gillette Chief Assistant Attorney General Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Rene A. Chacon and Juliet B. Haley Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Page 1081

OPINION

Premo, J.

In this case, we iron out yet another wrinkle in the law relating to presentence custody credits under Penal Code section 4019.[1] The defendant, Raul Ernesto Ramirez, pleaded no contest to multiple offenses arising out of his sexual relationship with a (then) 14-year-old student at the high school where he was employed as a vice principal. Some of these offenses were alleged to have occurred on specific dates prior to October 1, 2011, and some of them were alleged to have occurred on specific dates after October 1, 2011. Still other offenses were alleged to have occurred “sometime between” May or June 2011 and November 2011. The dates of the offenses matter, for purposes of presentence conduct credits at least, because prisoners incarcerated for crimes committed “on or after October 1, 2011” are capable of earning conduct credits at twice the rate of those incarcerated for crimes committed before that date. (§ 4019, subd. (h).) Because Ramirez entered his plea before the preliminary hearing, there was no evidence establishing a more precise date for the offenses which were alleged to have occurred sometime during a period of months encompassing October 1, 2011.

At sentencing, Ramirez was awarded credits under the prior (and less generous) version of section 4019, receiving 167 days of custody credits along with only 82 days of conduct credits.

Ramirez appeals from the trial court’s calculation of his presentence custody credits, arguing that because some of the offenses to which he pleaded no contest were committed after October 1, 2011, he is entitled to application of the more generous conduct credits available under the statute in effect at that time. He also argues that he is entitled to more of such credits under principles of equal protection.

We agree that Ramirez is entitled to additional credits and shall affirm the judgment as modified to reflect those credits. Because we rest our opinion on the language of the statute itself, we will not address his equal protection challenge.

I. Factual and Procedural Background [2]

In 2011, Ramirez, a high school vice principal, was involved in a sexual relationship with a student at the school where he worked. He was arrested ...


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