April 24, 2024 By Paul Wallin

A Prior Conviction May Be Resentenced With a Penal Code 1172.6 Petition

People v. Estrada

In People v. Estrada, the defendant was charged with various offenses related to a violent incident. The charges included murder, attempted murder, and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. The incident involved multiple individuals engaged in a fight, resulting in the death of one person and injuries to others. During the preliminary hearing, testimony from law enforcement officers and witnesses revealed details of the altercation. Evidence included statements from witnesses, observations of injuries and blood, and video surveillance footage. Detectives interviewed the defendant and another individual involved in the incident, obtaining admissions of involvement in the violent acts.

The defendant later pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder charges, admitting to the use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury. The prosecution struck certain allegations related to premeditation and willfulness from the attempted murder charge. After sentencing, the defendant filed a petition for resentencing under a specific section of the law. The prosecution opposed the petition, arguing that the defendant was ineligible for relief due to being the actual killer. The defendant contested this argument, asserting that the record of conviction did not definitively establish his ineligibility for resentencing.

The court determined that the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s petition under California Penal Code 1172.6 because his pleas did not establish him as the actual killer. 

Penal Code 1172.6 | Resentencing After a Plea

California Penal Code 1172.6 focuses on the resentencing of individuals convicted of specific offenses. This statute is part of broader efforts to address and rectify past sentencing practices that may have been overly punitive or not reflective of current legal standards and societal attitudes. Under California Penal Code 1172.6, individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes may petition the court for resentencing if their original sentences were unduly harsh or if new evidence or changes in the law would likely result in a significantly different sentence if applied to their case today.

To petition for resentencing under California Penal Code 1172.6, the convicted individual (or their legal representative) must undertake specific steps. Initially, a formal petition must be filed in the court that handed down the original sentence. This petition should clearly articulate the grounds for resentencing, referencing any pertinent changes in the law, newly discovered evidence, or aspects of the original sentencing that are now considered excessively harsh given current standards.

Included with the petition, the petitioner should provide any relevant legal documents, evidence supporting their claim for resentencing, and potentially, character references or testimonials that highlight the petitioner’s rehabilitation or positive conduct post-conviction. Following the submission of the petition, the court will schedule a hearing to review the case. It is imperative for the petitioner to prepare thoroughly for this hearing with the assistance of legal counsel to compellingly argue their case for resentencing under California Penal Code 1172.6.

At the hearing, a judge reviews the case thoroughly to determine whether the petitioner’s sentence should be modified. Both the petitioner (or their legal representative) and the prosecution are given the opportunity to present arguments, evidence, and testimonials to support their positions. The judge considers the grounds for resentencing, such as changes in law, new evidence, or the argument that the original sentence was disproportionately harsh according to current standards. This hearing is a critical stage where the efficacy of the rehabilitation efforts, the behavior of the petitioner since conviction, and any societal contributions made post-conviction are scrutinized. The judge’s decision at this hearing can lead to a range of outcomes, including the reduction of the original sentence, a new sentencing hearing, or denial of the petition if the court is not convinced by the petitioner’s arguments.

Call Us Today

If you are wanting to file a petition for resentencing under PC 1172.6, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to help you. We have offices in Irvine, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Torrance, Victorville and Anaheim.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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