California v. HaywoodAnnotate this Case
In January 2015, pro se defendant Pharaoh Haywood filed a petition pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.181 to redesignate his 1996 felony conviction for unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle to a misdemeanor. He waived personal appearance if the matter was not contested. The trial court, acting ex parte, appointed a public defender, then summarily denied the petition in a minute order “due to ineligibility based due to: [c]urrent [sic] conviction(s).” Defendant appealed, arguing that even if unlawful taking/driving of a vehicle was not expressly included among the offenses “in accordance with” which he can be resentenced to a misdemeanor, it can constitute a “theft conviction,” and thus the Court of Appeal should construe section 1170.18 as including it because of the purpose of the initiative enacting it. Defendant contended the trial court erred as a result in summarily denying his petition. After review, the Court of Appeal rejected this effort to have it "engage in judicial legislation." The Court therefore affirmed the order denying the redesignation petition.