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Full Resentencing Ordered on Court's Error

California v. Codinha Docket: D080633 (Fourth Appellate District), Opinion Date: June 26, 2023. Joseph Codinha appealed an order increasing his aggregate prison term by 16 months in response to a letter from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the Department) informing the trial court it had erroneously imposed a concurrent prison term on a count on which the law required a consecutive term. The issues this case presented for the Court of Appeal's review centered on: (1) whether a trial court has jurisdiction to modify a final judgment in response to such a letter; and (2) if so, whether the appropriate remedy is for the court to modify the judgment by simply correcting the error or to conduct a full resentencing hearing. To these, the Court concluded: (1) a trial court’s inherent authority to correct an unauthorized sentence allows it to modify a final judgment in response to a notice from the Department that a sentence does not contain a legally required component; and (2) the proper remedy is a full resentencing hearing where, as here, the sentence included multiple components and the trial court exercised discretion at the original sentencing hearing to impose a non-maximum aggregate prison term it considered appropriate. The Court therefore vacated the modified sentence and remanded the matter for a full resentencing hearing.

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