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News from the Director

Recent Victory Highlights
May 25, 2011

Recent highlights from our victory blog include a case holding that an amendment to Penal Code section 666 increasing the number of priors required to elevate a petty theft to a felony should be applied retroactively. Another recent victory held that the late amendment of a juvenile delinquency petition violated due process.

In People v. Cordero, No. A129833, when appellant entered his no contest plea to one felony count of petty theft with a prior conviction, Penal Code section 666 required only one prior theft conviction. In September 2010, however, the Legislature amended PC 666 so that it now requires three prior convictions to elevate petty theft from a misdemeanor to a felony (so long as the prior convictions are not serious or violent felonies). Although appellant was sentenced prior to the effective date of the amendment, the Court of Appeal nevertheless held the amendment should be applied retroactively and remanded to the trial court for further consideration in light of that holding. Our victory blog post on Cordero, which includes a link to the opinion, is posted here.

In In re R.L., No. A129407, at the close of the People's case-in-chief, the juvenile court granted a motion to amend the wardship petition that alleged a violation of Penal Code section 12020(a)(1) (possession of a deadly weapon) to allege a violation of Penal Code section 12020(a)(4) (concealment of a dirk or dagger). Because the latter offense is not a lesser included offense of the former, the amendment violated appellant's due process right to notice of the charges. Such an amendment may not be made without the defendant's consent to the substituted charge Our victory blog post on In re R.L., which includes a link to the opinion, is posted here.

There are many victories posted on the victory blog, where you can peruse them all, or use the blog search engine to look for reversals in specific areas of law.

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