California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
Superior Court County of Ventura, No. 2016041618, Manuel J.
Gregory D. Totten, District Attorney, Lisa O. Lyytikainen,
Senior Deputy District Attorney, and Michelle Contois, Deputy
District Attorney, for Plaintiff and Appellant.
W. Howeth, Public Defender, William M. Quest, Senior Deputy
Public Defender, for Defendant and Respondent.
People appeal the trial court's order reducing Miguel
Angel Jimenez's felony convictions for identity theft
under Penal Code section 530.5, subdivision (a) to
misdemeanor shoplifting under section 459.5, subdivision (a).
They contend that section 459.5, which was enacted as part of
Proposition 47 (§ 1170.18), does not apply to section
530.5 identity theft offenses, even when the amount involved
does not exceed $950.
People v. Gonzales (2017) 2 Cal.5th 858
(Gonzales), the defendant cashed two stolen
checksvalued at less than $950 each. (Id. at p.
862.) Our high court determined that the defendant's
“act of entering a bank to cash a stolen check for less
than $950, traditionally regarded as theft by false
pretenses..., now constitutes shoplifting under [section
459.5].” (Ibid.) Section 459.5, subdivision
(b) states that any act of shoplifting “shall be
charged as shoplifting, ” and that no one
“charged with shoplifting may also be charged with
burglary or theft of the same property.”
(Gonzales, at p. 876 [“A defendant must be
charged only with shoplifting when [section 459.5]
the defendant in Gonzales, Jimenez cashed two stolen
checks valued at less than $950 each. These acts constitute
misdemeanor shoplifting under section 459.5, subdivision (a)
and must be charged as such. (§ 459.5, subd. (b);
Gonzales, supra, 2 Cal.5th at p. 876.) The
trial court correctly reduced Jimenez's felony
convictions for identity theft to misdemeanors pursuant to
Proposition 47. Accordingly, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
different occasions, Jimenez entered Loan Plus, a commercial
check-cashing business, and cashed a check from Outer Wall,
Inc., made payable to himself. The checks were valued at
$632.47 and $596.60, respectively. Outer Wall, Inc. did not
issue the checks in Jimenez's name.
People filed an information charging Jimenez with two felony
violations of section 530.5, subdivision (a) -- the
unauthorized use of the personal identifying information of
another. They further alleged that Jimenez had
suffered a prior strike conviction for assault with a deadly
weapon plus a prison prior.
jury convicted Jimenez of both charges, Jimenez admitted the
special allegations. He also moved to reduce the convictions
to misdemeanors pursuant to Proposition 47 and
Gonzales, supra, 2 Cal.5th 858. Jimenez
asserted his conduct constituted misdemeanor shoplifting
under section 459.5, subdivision (a), as interpreted by our
Supreme Court in Gonzales.
trial court granted Jimenez's motion over the
People's objection. It stated that it had reviewed
Gonzales, supra, 2 Cal.5th 858, and
People v. Romanowski (2017) 2 Cal.5th 903
(Romanowski), and concluded that under the reasoning
and holding of those two cases, the “[c]ourt's
hands have been somewhat tied.” The court explained:
“It appears indicated that when there's conduct
that results in the theft, which was here theft of property
when it was used to derive on two separate instances money
less than $950, the Court is mandated to reduce those to
misdemeanors. Those are the rulings put forth by the Supreme
Court.” The court further stated: “And even
though [this case] involves a different charge, it appears to
be somewhat of a theft charge which was the focus of
Gonzale[s]and Romanowski.... And
based on the Court's review of those two recent rulings,
the Court feels it is obligated... to grant the defense
motion and reduce Count 1 and Count 2 to misdemeanors as it
appears to be that conduct that has been described in
Proposition 47 as a shoplifting type of offense.”
reclassification of the convictions, the trial court
sentenced Jimenez to two consecutive six-month terms. The
court awarded Jimenez presentence credits, and ...