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In re A.L.

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fourth Division

January 21, 2015

In re A.L., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
A.L., Defendant and Appellant.

Contra Costa County Superior Court, No. J1301298 Hon. Lewis A. Davis

Page 497

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 498

COUNSEL

Anne Mania, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Laurence K. Sullivan and Eric D. Share, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

REARDON, J.

A.L., a minor, appeals from an order of wardship entered pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 following the juvenile court’s finding that he committed felony second degree robbery (Pen. Code, §§ 211, 212.5, subd. (c)) with an enhancement for being armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony (Pen. Code, § 12022, subd. (a)(1)).[1] A.L.’s sole contention on appeal is that the juvenile court violated his due process rights by allowing the prosecution to amend his delinquency petition during closing arguments to allege an arming enhancement under subdivision (a) of section 12022 (the section 12022(a) enhancement) rather than the personal-use-of-a-deadly-weapon enhancement that was originally charged pursuant to subdivision (b) of section 12022 (the section 12022(b) enhancement). Finding no abuse of discretion in the juvenile court’s decision to permit the amendment, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On December 3, 2013, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office filed a delinquency petition alleging that A.L. committed felony second degree robbery on or about November 30, 2013. The petition also alleged that, in the commission of that offense, A.L. personally used a handgun, a deadly and dangerous weapon, within the meaning of the section 12022(b) enhancement. (§ 12022, subd. (b)(1).) The accusations stemmed from an incident involving A.L. and another minor. Specifically, on the date in question, A.L. arranged to purchase a pair of shoes from 17-year-old Christian L. After he and the other minor met Christian on the sidewalk near Christian’s home, A.L. paid the teenager $100 for the pair of shoes and indicated that he would return later to purchase another pair that Christian was also offering for sale. Later that evening, A.L. and the second minor again met with Christian. This time, however, as A.L. bent down to try on the second pair of shoes, the other minor pulled out a gun and held it to

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Christian’s chest, saying: “Give m[e] everything.” A.L. took the shoes, the second minor obtained a cell phone from Christian, and both boys ran off.

The juvenile court held a contested jurisdictional hearing on January 9, 2014. At the hearing, the testimony focused on the sequence of events during the robbery and on A.L.’s relative culpability for the offense. During closing argument, the juvenile court noted that it “didn’t think there was any evidence” of the section 12022(b) enhancement, which requires personal use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. (§ 12022, subd. (b).) The prosecutor indicated that A.L. had been mistakenly charged with the section 12022(b) enhancement and should have been charged instead with the section 12022(a) enhancement, which allows for vicarious liability when another principal is armed with a firearm. (§ 12022, subd. (a)(1).) She therefore moved to amend the petition to conform to proof by substituting the section 12022(a) enhancement for the 12022(b) enhancement. A.L.’s attorney objected to the amendment, arguing that she had presented her case with the understanding that the section 12022(b) enhancement (which the prosecution had failed to prove) was the only enhancement at issue. The juvenile ...


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