People v. Alwien, 102017 SUPAD, JAD17-19

Docket Nº:JAD17-19
Opinion Judge:Hon. Brian Alvarez, Acting Presiding Judge
Party Name:THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. DRUMOND TYREE ALWIEN, Defendant and Appellant.
Attorney:Daniel J. Brickey, Public Defender, attorney for defendant/appellant Drumond Tyree Alwien. Carl Monopoli and Galen Rutiaga, Chief Deputy District Attorneys, attorney for plaintiff/respondent the People of the State of California.
Judge Panel:WE CONCUR: Hon. Rosemary T. McGuire, Judge Hon. Gary D. Hoff, Judge.
Case Date:October 20, 2017
Court:Superior Court of California
 
FREE EXCERPT

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

DRUMOND TYREE ALWIEN, Defendant and Appellant.

JAD17-19

Superior Court of California, Appellate Division, Fresno

October 20, 2017

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Fresno County, the Honorable James Oppliger, Judge. Affirmed.[1]

Daniel J. Brickey, Public Defender, attorney for defendant/appellant Drumond Tyree Alwien.

Carl Monopoli and Galen Rutiaga, Chief Deputy District Attorneys, attorney for plaintiff/respondent the People of the State of California.

OPINION

Hon. Brian Alvarez, Acting Presiding Judge

I.

BACKGROUND

Appellant received a grant of felony probation after he was returned from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from a diagnostic evaluation and recommendation pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.03. He then sought to address his pending traffic infraction cases. In the traffic court, he claimed the prosecution of his pending traffic cases was barred by Vehicle Code section 41500 because he had been committed to the CDCR for a diagnostic evaluation.2 The traffic court denied his motion to dismiss his consolidated cases, and appellant thereafter entered a guilty plea. He timely filed a notice of appeal.

Appellant again maintains his traffic cases should have been dismissed under section 41500 because he received a “commitment” to the CDCR when he was placed in a diagnostic facility. Respondent challenges this claim arguing appellant was “placed temporarily” in a CDCR diagnostic facility, not actually committed to the CDCR as defined in section 41500. In their initial briefing, both parties assumed without discussion that this matter was appealable. We requested further briefing on the appealability issue, given appellant's guilty plea.

Appellant maintains his case is indeed appealable, notwithstanding his guilty plea, because his claim challenges the jurisdiction of the court and the legality of the proceedings. Respondent now maintains this case is not appealable and, moreover, appellant should be estopped from challenging his sentence. We believe the claim raised here challenges the legality of the traffic court to proceed in light of the prosecutorial bar in section 41500. As such, we conclude this matter is appealable. We reject respondent's estoppel claim. Ultimately, we reject appellant's contention and affirm the judgment.

II.

DISCUSSION

A. Appealability

While a certificate of appealability (Pen. Code, § 1237.5) is not required for misdemeanor or infraction appeals taken after a guilty or no contest plea (In re Olsen (1986) 176 Cal.App.3rd 386, 390; People v. Castro (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th Supp. 9, 14; see Pen. Code, § 1466, subd. (b)), post-guilty-plea misdemeanor or infraction appeals are limited to those that raise “reasonably constitutional, jurisdictional, or other grounds going to the legality of the proceedings.” (People v. Egbert (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 503, 508 (Egbert); see In re Olsen, supra, 176 Cal.App.3rd at p. 390.) This is because “it was a settled tenet of the common law that ‘... irregularities not going to the jurisdiction or legality of the proceedings will not be reviewed' after judgment on a guilty plea.” (In re John B. (1989) 215 Cal.App.3rd 477, 483, quoting Stephens v. Toomey (1959) 51 Cal.2d 864, 870.) The reason for the rule is clear - a guilty plea “`concedes that the prosecution possesses legally admissible evidence sufficient to prove defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt'” (Egbert, supra, 59 Cal.App.4th at p. 508, citing People v. Turner (1985) 171 Cal.App.3rd 116, 125), it “waives any right to raise questions regarding the evidence, including its sufficiency or admissibility, even...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP