People v. GonzalesAnnotate this Case
In 2014, the electorate passed the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (the Act), which reduced penalties for certain theft and drug offenses by amending existing statutes. The Act created the crime of “shoplifting,” which was defined as entering an open commercial establishment during regular business hours with the intent to commit “larceny” of property worth $950 or less. In 2013, Defendant entered a bank to cash a stolen check for less than $950. Defendant pled guilty to felony burglary. Defendant later petitioned for recall of his sentence and resentencing under Cal. Penal Code 1170.18, arguing that his conduct would have constituted misdemeanor shoplifting under the Act. The trial court denied the petition. The court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the electorate intended that the shoplifting statute apply to an entry to commit a nonlarcenous theft; and (2) therefore, Defendant’s criminal act now constitutes shoplifting under Cal. Penal Code 459.5, subd. (a), and Defendant may properly petition for misdemeanor resentencing.