San Diego Trial Court Imposes 5 Year Enhancement for Burglary [PC 1192.5]
A San Diego criminal conviction was appealed, and the California Court of Appeal issued their holding on 10/28/2020. The appeals court held there was no abuse of discretion in the San Diego trial court’s decision not to strike the defendant’s five-year enhancement imposed under Penal Code Section 667(a)(1).
In People v. Shaw, the defendant was storing automobiles on the victim’s property and the victim had one of the cars towed. The defendant was angry and broke into the victim’s home with a hatchet, began yelling threats and chasing the victim, and eventually cut open the victim’s lip. At trial, the defendant was convicted of first-degree burglary [California Penal Code Section 1192.5] and sentenced to 21 years in state prison, which included sentencing enhancements for a serious prior conviction. The defendant appealed arguing the judge should have stricken the five-year sentencing enhancement because he believed the length of the sentence for a busted lip was “patently absurd.”
California’s Three Strike Rule
Generally, PC 667(a)(1) states that if you were convicted of a serious crime and have now been convicted of another serious crime, the courts shall add a five-year sentence enhancement to your prison sentence. A list of serious felony offenses can be found in Penal Code 1192.7(c) and/or violent felony offenses under PC 667.5. However, SB 1392 gave the trial court judge discretion to strike the five-year enhancement in the interest of justice.
In this case, the San Diego Superior Court imposed a five-year enhancement under PC 667 and declined to strike the enhancement because although the victim only had a cut on his lip, the defendant “busted into somebody’s home with an ax[e] in hand” and attacked them with a hatchet, making this a serious crime. Additionally, the court weighed the frequency of the defendant’s list of prior convictions in determining striking the enhancement would not be appropriate in the “interests of justice.”
Contact Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Attorney Now
The sentencing and punishment under California Three Strikes Law can be severe and potentially life-changing. If you or someone you know has been accused of a serious or violent felony and face a possible strike on your record, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in California who will carefully review the facts and the law to give you the best representation possible.
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