Judge Corrects Record After Law Invalidates Sentence Enhancement; Man Already Served More Than 600 Days Over Requirement


By Cynthia Hoang-Duong

WOODLAND, CA – Here in Yolo County Superior Court this week, Judge Peter M. Williams signed a new credit memorandum, maintaining the lower base term of a man’s sentence and striking his prior conviction enhancement and the accompanying count.

In short, because of changes in the law, a man had 1,141 days of credit served in custody, more than double the time he needed to serve, 488 days.

In 2012, the accused received a four-year, four-month sentence for possessing a controlled substance for sale and an additional three years for a prior drug conviction.

But Judge Williams reviewed the credit memo submitted by the probation department a month ago, informing the court of the accused’s updated credits for being in custody of 1,141 days.

Citing the abstract of judgment, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Betz advised the court to strike the prior conviction enhancement, which would result in an excess of jail credits for the accused.

In response to the excess of credits, Deputy District Attorney David Robbins suggested modifying the abstract to the upper term. However, Betz explained that even with the upper sentencing term, the accused still would have an excess of credits.

“Even if he received an upper term, he would still be in excess of credits. So at this point, I don’t see there’s anything left to do but strike that [the enhancement] and terminate his mandatory supervision,” said the DPD.

When asked about the purpose of striking the enhancement, he stated that it is no longer legally valid.

This is pursuant to SB 483 which added California Penal Code §1171 to invalidate any enhancements imposed before Jan. 1, 2018, under the prior drug conviction enhancement section of the Health and Safety Code.

Thus, Betz clarified that, absent the enhancement, the accused would only have to serve 16 months or 488 days. Compared to the 1,141 days of credit for the time he already served, the accused was “well in excess of those credits.”

The judge agreed and, based on the lower term, struck the count along with the three-year enhancement.


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