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Breaking Legal Developments

01-21-2002

Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor
palynch@cozen.com
http://www.cozen.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. California Court Finds Judge has Discretion to Strike Accelerant Enhancement


(1) CALIFORNIA COURT FINDS JUDGE HAS DISCRETION TO STRIKE ACCELERANT ENHANCEMENT

In People v. Wilson, B151042 (Jan. 15, 2002), the Second Appellate District reviewed the defendant's arson conviction. He had received a five-year sentence for burning the uninhabited home he and his wife owned. He entered a no contest plea. He was sentenced to five years plus a three-year enhancement for use of an accelerant.

The court stated it had no discretion to strike the enhancement. The Court of Appeals found the trial judge could strike the three-year enhancement if it desired because the California Penal Code section 451.1 did not contain express language divesting the trial court of authority to strike the enhancement. The matter was remanded for further proceedings.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), palynch@cozen.com (e-mail), http://www.cozen.com. Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at palynch@cozen.com

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