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CA 5th District Reverses Gang Enhancements

People v. Lopez Docket: F076295A (Fifth Appellate District), Opinion Date: August 4, 2022. Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition; attempted robbery; conspiracy to commit robbery; and a violation of the gang conspiracy statute. After his conviction, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 333 (AB 333). This legislation

amended multiple parts of section 186.22 and added a new statute, section 1109. Section 1109 provides for bifurcated trial procedures in cases involving gang charges under section 186.22, subdivisions (a), (b), and/or (d). On appeal, Defendant argued the recent amendments to section 186.22 apply retroactively and, because the gang conspiracy statute incorporates provisions of section 186.22 to define the elements of the offense, Defendant contends AB 333 requires reversal of the gang enhancements and his conviction under section 182.5 (gang conspiracy). The Fifth Appellate District affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Fifth Circuit reversed Defendant's gang enhancements under 186.22. However, the court affirmed Defendant's substantive gang conspiracy conviction, determining that any trial court error in failing to bifurcate Defendant's substantive offenses from his gang enhancement was non-prejudicial.


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