Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alejandro N. v. Superior Court (The People)

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

July 23, 2015

Alejandro N., Petitioner,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Respondent, THE PEOPLE, Real Party in Interest.

Proceedings in mandate after superior court denied juvenile offender's petition for reclassification of offense from felony to misdemeanor under Proposition 47. No. JCM230808 Robert J. Trentacosta, Judge.

Page 1210

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1211

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1212

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1213

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1214

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1215

COUNSEL

Randy Mize, Chief Deputy Public Defender, and Maryann D'Addezio Kotler, Deputy Public Defender, for Petitioner.

Keker & Van Nest, Daniel Purcell and Chessie Thacher for Californians for Safety and Justice/Vote Safe, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties, and

Page 1216

Michael Romano, as Director, etc., of the Stanford Three Strikes Project as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioner.

Jonathan Laba for Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioner.

No appearance for Respondent.

Bonnie M. Dumanis, District Attorney, James E. Atkins and Marcella O. McLaughlin, Deputy District Attorneys, for Real Party in Interest.

OPINION

HALLER, J.

Proposition 47, passed by the voters in November 2014, reclassified certain nonserious, nonviolent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 47 also enacted a statute (Pen. Code, § 1170.18)[1] that permits offenders to petition the superior court to redesignate their felony convictions and reduce their sentences based on the new misdemeanor classification. After the passage of Proposition 47, Alejandro N. (Alejandro) filed a section 1170.18 petition to change his juvenile felony adjudication to a misdemeanor. Ruling on the petition, the superior court agreed that Alejandro's offense now qualified as a misdemeanor for purposes of section 1170.18's sentence reduction provisions. Based on Welfare and Institutions Code section 726, which provides that a juvenile offender cannot be physically confined longer than an adult offender for the same offense, the court reduced Alejandro's maximum period of confinement to the misdemeanor level. However, the court declined to reclassify Alejandro's offense from a felony to a misdemeanor under section 1170.18's offense reclassification provisions, ruling that because section 1170.18 uses the adult offender terminology of "conviction, " the statute does not apply to juvenile offenders.

Alejandro filed a petition for writ of mandate challenging the superior court's ruling. We issued an order to show cause, obtained briefing from the parties and various amici curiae, and heard oral arguments. In the proceedings before the superior court, the parties agreed that Alejandro's case would serve as the lead case for numerous other juvenile offenders who had filed modification petitions based on Proposition 47, and our resolution of the legal issues raised in Alejandro's petition concerning Proposition 47 would apply to the other juvenile modification petitions filed in the superior court.

We hold that the offense reclassification provisions set forth in section 1170.18 apply to juveniles. Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 provides for a minor to be declared a ward of the juvenile court when the minor

Page 1217

commits a crime set forth in the Penal Code and other codes defining criminal offenses primarily in the adult criminal context. The section thereby incorporates the entire body of laws defining criminal offenses as the basis for juvenile wardship jurisdiction. Accordingly, when a criminal offense is reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor in the adult context-as occurred under Proposition 47-the reclassification likewise applies in juvenile wardship proceedings. By adding section 1170.18 to the Penal Code, the Proposition 47 voters made this felony-to-misdemeanor reclassification available to qualifying offenders on a retroactive basis. Thus, section 1170.18 concerns the very same offenses that are incorporated into the juvenile wardship proceedings via Welfare and Institutions Code section 602, and it follows that section 1170.18's offense reclassification provisions are equally applicable to juvenile offenders.

Based on the reclassification of his offense from a felony to a misdemeanor, Alejandro also requested that the superior court (1) order his DNA sample and information removed from the state's data base, and (2) reduce his fine to a misdemeanor level. We agree that a reclassified misdemeanor offense under Proposition 47 cannot alone support retention of DNA materials in the state's DNA data bank, and we shall direct the superior court to expunge Alejandro's DNA unless there is another basis to retain it apart from his mere commission of the reclassified misdemeanor offense. (§§ 296, 296.1.) As to Alejandro's request for a fine reduction, he has not refuted the trial court's finding that his $50 fine was already at the misdemeanor level.

Accordingly, we grant the petition in part and direct the superior court to (1) reclassify Alejandro's felony offense as a misdemeanor, and (2) reconsider his request for DNA expungement. We ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.