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Felony Stalking Not Automatic Super-Strike

People v. Williams Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: A160530 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: April 30, 2021. After defendant pleaded no contest to one count of felony stalking, he was denied mental health diversion under newly enacted Penal Code section 1001.36, which took effect shortly after his plea. Consequently, defendant was placed on probation for three years subject to various terms and conditions. The Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that the trial court erred in finding that defendant posed an unreasonable risk to public safety and thus abused its discretion in denying his request for mental health diversion. In this case, People v. Moine, supra, 62 Cal.App.5th 440, compels reversal. The court explained that, while there is ample evidence that defendant terrorized a family with threats, his charges are not super-strike offenses; he poses a low risk to public safety in the uncontroverted opinion of two mental health professionals; there is no evidence he owned, possessed or had access to any weapons; and he was released on bond for more than two years without incident. Because the court reversed the judgment, and with it the order of probation, defendant's final argument that the probation order should be modified to strike the imposition of a monthly $100 probation fee is moot.

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