People v. HoffmanAnnotate this Case
Defendant, a 19-year-old heroin addict with borderline personality disorder, appealed an order denying a petition to recall her sentence for seven felony forgery convictions and for resentencing to misdemeanors pursuant to Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, Pen. Code, 1170.18, 473. Defendant had taken a booklet of checks from her parents and forged her mother's name on 18 checks and cashed them. These checks totaled to $8,734. Defendant also cashed two checks for $80 from a friend and used the friend's bank card to withdraw $25 without permission. The trial court reasoned that the aggregate value of the forged checks took defendant "outside the spirit" of Proposition 47. The court reversed, concluding that the trial court may not refuse to reduce a defendant's sentence based on the court's notion of the statute's "spirit." The "criteria" for resentencing are explicitly stated in section 1170.18, subdivision (a), and "unreasonable risk" is defined in subdivision (c). If the criteria are met, and the resentencing does not pose an unreasonable risk of a new super-strike offense, the "felony sentence shall be recalled and the petitioner resentenced to a misdemeanor."