People v. Trujillo, No. S130080.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtMoreno
Citation40 Cal.4th 165,51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718,146 P.3d 1259
PartiesThe PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Manuel Alex TRUJILLO, Defendant and Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. S130080.
Decision Date11 December 2006
51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718
40 Cal.4th 165
146 P.3d 1259
The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
Manuel Alex TRUJILLO, Defendant and Respondent.
No. S130080.
Supreme Court of California.
December 11, 2006.

[51 Cal.Rptr.3d 719]

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler and Pamela C. Hamanaka, Assistant Attorneys General, Rene A. Chacon, Kristofer Jorstad, Lawrence M. Daniels and Ryan B. McCarroll, Deputy Attorneys General; George W. Kennedy, District Attorney, and Neal J. Kimball, Deputy District Attorney; for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Michael A. Kresser, under appointment by the Supreme Court, Santa Clara, for Defendant and Respondent.

MORENO, J.


Following a jury trial at which defendant was convicted of a felony, the court found an allegation that defendant had suffered a prior conviction for a violent felony within the meaning of the "Three Strikes" law "not to be a strike" and sentenced defendant to prison accordingly. Asserting that the trial court erred in finding that the alleged prior conviction was not a strike, the People appeal, relying upon Penal Code section 1238, subdivision (a),1 which permits an appeal by the People from "An order setting aside all or any portion of the indictment" (subd. (a)(1)), from "An order or judgment dismissing or otherwise terminating all or any portion of the action" (subd. (a)(8)), and from "The imposition of-an unlawful sentence" (subd. (a)(10)). The Court of Appeal ruled that

51 Cal.Rptr.3d 720

the People could appeal under section 1238, subdivision (a)(10), reversed the trial court's order that the alleged prior conviction was not a strike, and remanded to the trial court for a retrial of the prior conviction allegation.

We agree with the Court of Appeal that the People may appeal from the judgment pursuant to section 1238, subdivision (a)(10) on the grounds that defendant's sentence is unlawful because the trial court erred in ruling that the alleged prior conviction was not a strike. Accordingly, we need not, and do not, address whether this appeal also is authorized by subdivision (a)(1) and subdivision (a)(8) of section 1238. We disagree, however, with the Court of Appeal's conclusion that the trial court erred in ruling that the alleged prior conviction was not a strike. Thus, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

FACTS

An information was filed on March 7, 2002, charging defendant Manuel Alex Trujillo with robbery in the second degree in violation of section 211, and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in violation of section 245, subdivision (a)(1). The information further alleged that defendant had personally inflicted great bodily injury in committing the charged crimes in violation of section 12022.7, subdivision (a). The information alleged that defendant had suffered three prior convictions, two of which were alleged to be prior "strike" convictions for serious or violent felonies within the meaning of the Three Strikes law (§ 667, subds.(b)-(i)).

Prior to trial, the court bifurcated the determination of the truth of the prior conviction allegations from the determination of defendant's guilt of the charged crimes, and defendant later waived his right to a jury determination of the truth of the prior conviction allegations. The jury subsequently found defendant guilty of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and not guilty of robbery. The jury found not true the allegation that defendant had inflicted great bodily injury.

The court held a bench trial on the prior conviction allegations. The court admitted into evidence, without objection by defendant, certified copies of records showing that defendant previously had been convicted of inflicting corporal injury in violation of section 273.5, subdivision (a) in 1991, of assault with a deadly weapon in violation of section 245, subdivision (a)(1) in 1989, and had been committed to the California Youth Authority for receiving stolen property in violation of section 496 in 1987.

The prosecutor argued that defendant's prior convictions for inflicting corporal injury and assault with a deadly weapon were both serious felonies within the meaning of section 1192.7, and thus constituted strikes under the Three Strikes Law. The prosecutor acknowledged that neither offense was specifically listed as a serious felony in subdivision (c) of section 1192.7, but argued that both offenses came within subdivision (c)(23), which defines as a serious felony "any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon."

Defense counsel conceded that defendant's prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon "is clearly a strike" because the information in that case alleged that defendant committed the assault "with a deadly weapon, to wit, a knife." The parties disagreed, however, over whether defendant's prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury was a strike.

51 Cal.Rptr.3d 721

The documents submitted by the People to prove the prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury reflected that a felony complaint was filed on August 7, 1991, charging defendant with inflicting corporal injury, with a further allegation under section 12022, subdivision (b) that defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon in the commission of the offense. A second count charged defendant with assault with a deadly weapon, "two wit, a knife." A reporter's transcript of proceedings on September 5, 1991, reflects that defendant pled guilty pursuant to a plea bargain to inflicting corporal injury. The court agreed to impose a sentence of two years in prison, adding: "The D.A.'s office has agreed to dismiss count 2, the assault with a deadly weapon.. They've also agreed to strike the allegation that you used a knife in the commission of the felony." A probation report prepared prior to sentencing reflects that defendant was interviewed on September 16, 1991, and admitted stabbing the victim with a knife during an argument, stating: "I stuck her with the knife."

The prosecutor argued that the prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury was a serious felony based upon defendant's statement recounted in the probation report that he had personally used a knife. Defense counsel argued the prior conviction was not a serious felony because, regardless of the probation report, defendant "was convicted merely of [section] 273.5, and the use allegation that would have elevated it into a strike or into a serious or violent crime at the time was stricken. Therefore I think whatever he said in the probation report is not relevant and not something the Court can look at because it undermines the conviction itself."

The trial court found "that the defendant did, in fact, suffer all three prior felony convictions that are alleged in the Information," and found that defendant's prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon was a strike, but agreed with defense counsel that defendant's prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury was not a strike because the allegation that defendant had personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon in the commission of the offense had been stricken. The court observed that the prosecutor in the prior case "settled the case with the understanding the knife allegation would not be used. It went away. The defendant relied on that." Accordingly, the trial court found that defendant's prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury "is not a strike." The court further found true the allegation that defendant had served a prior prison term based upon his prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury within the meaning of section 667.5, subdivision (b).

On March 7, 2003, defendant was sentenced to a term of seven years in prison, consisting of the midterm of three years for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury "doubled because of the strike," plus one year for the prior prison term. The People filed a notice of appeal on April 30, 2003.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the People could appeal pursuant to section 1238, subdivision (a)(10), which permits the People to appeal "[t]he imposition of an unlawful sentence," and held that the trial court erred in ruling that defendant's prior conviction for inflicting corporal injury was not a strike. The Court of Appeal concluded that the striking of the allegation that defendant had personally used a deadly or dangerous weapon as part of the plea bargain in the prior proceeding did not bar the use of the underlying facts of the prior conviction in the present proceedings. We granted review.

51 Cal.Rptr.3d 722
DISCUSSION

People's Right to Appeal

"The prosecution in a criminal case has no right to appeal except as provided by statute. [Citation.] `The Legislature has determined that except under certain limited circumstances the People shall have no right of appeal in criminal cases. [Citations.] ... [¶] The restriction on the People's right to appeal ... is a substantive limitation on review of trial court determinations in criminal trials.' [Citation.] `Appellate review at the request of the People necessarily imposes substantial burdens on an accused, and the extent to which such burdens should be imposed to review claimed errors involves a delicate balancing of the competing considerations of preventing harassment of the accused as against correcting possible errors.' [Citation.] Courts must respect the limits on review imposed by the Legislature `although the People may thereby suffer a wrong without a remedy.' [Citation.]" (People v. Williams (2005) 35 Cal.4th 817, 822-823, 28 Cal.Rptr.3d 29, 110 P.3d 1239.)

Section 1238 "governs the People's appeals from orders or judgments of the superior courts."2 (People v. Douglas (1999) 20 Cal.4th 85, 89-90, 82 Cal.Rptr.2d 816, 972 P.2d 151.) Subdivision (a)(10) of section 1238 provides that the People may...

To continue reading

Request your trial
243 practice notes
  • People v. Denard, B253464
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 3 Diciembre 2015
    ...law. (See McGee, supra, 38 Cal.4th at pp. 691–692, 42 Cal.Rptr.3d 899, 133 P.3d 1054 ; People v. Trujillo, supra, 40 Cal.4th at p. 179, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718, 146 P.3d 1259 ; People v. Roberts (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1106, 1125–1126, 125 Cal.Rptr.3d 810.)In determining whether a foreign convict......
  • People v. Crockett, C074342
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 19 Febrero 2015
    ...it is not part of the record of conviction that can establish the nature of defendant's commitment offense. (People v. Trujillo (2006) 40 Cal.4th 165, 179–180, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718, 146 P.3d 1259.)6 It is arguable whether the injury to the girlfriend is akin to the multitude of abrasions pres......
  • Richardson v. Knipp, No. 2:11-cv-2996 GEB CKD P
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 29 Agosto 2013
    ...appeal issued a remittitur. (Lod. Doc. 7.) On December 11, 2006, the California Supreme Court issued a decision in People v. Trujillo, 40 Cal. 4th 165, 179 (2006), holding that a defendant's post-plea admission to a probation officer cannot be admitted to establish that a prior conviction i......
  • People v. Staden, A111629 (Cal. App. 2/7/2008), A111629
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 7 Febrero 2008
    ...case must be decided on the facts of that case." (People v. Woodell (1998) 17 Cal.4th 448, 457; see also People v. Trujillo (2006) 40 Cal.4th 165, `In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence of the prior convictions, we determine "`. . . whether a reasonable trier of fact could have found......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
244 cases
  • People v. Denard, B253464
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 3 Diciembre 2015
    ...law. (See McGee, supra, 38 Cal.4th at pp. 691–692, 42 Cal.Rptr.3d 899, 133 P.3d 1054 ; People v. Trujillo, supra, 40 Cal.4th at p. 179, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718, 146 P.3d 1259 ; People v. Roberts (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1106, 1125–1126, 125 Cal.Rptr.3d 810.)In determining whether a foreign convict......
  • People v. Crockett, C074342
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 19 Febrero 2015
    ...it is not part of the record of conviction that can establish the nature of defendant's commitment offense. (People v. Trujillo (2006) 40 Cal.4th 165, 179–180, 51 Cal.Rptr.3d 718, 146 P.3d 1259.)6 It is arguable whether the injury to the girlfriend is akin to the multitude of abrasions pres......
  • Richardson v. Knipp, No. 2:11-cv-2996 GEB CKD P
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 29 Agosto 2013
    ...appeal issued a remittitur. (Lod. Doc. 7.) On December 11, 2006, the California Supreme Court issued a decision in People v. Trujillo, 40 Cal. 4th 165, 179 (2006), holding that a defendant's post-plea admission to a probation officer cannot be admitted to establish that a prior conviction i......
  • People v. Staden, A111629 (Cal. App. 2/7/2008), A111629
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 7 Febrero 2008
    ...case must be decided on the facts of that case." (People v. Woodell (1998) 17 Cal.4th 448, 457; see also People v. Trujillo (2006) 40 Cal.4th 165, `In reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence of the prior convictions, we determine "`. . . whether a reasonable trier of fact could have found......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT