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Gang Enhancements REVERSED

California v. Salgado Docket: G060656 (Fourth Appellate District), Opinion Date: August 18, 2022. Victor Salgado appealed a recall and resentencing under former Penal Code section 1170 (d)(1). After Salgado shot at a rival gang member but killed another, he was charged with: one count of first-degree murder; one count of attempted premeditated murder; two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm; one count of possession of a firearm while on probation; and one count of street terrorism (active gang participation). Salgado argued the trial court erred in imposing a one-year determinate sentence on a gang enhancement, improperly calculated his custody credit, and requests this court correct clerical errors in the sentencing minute order and the abstract of judgment. The Attorney General conceded these errors, but argued the sentencing court should have imposed higher, statutorily prescribed terms on the enhancements. While this appeal was pending, Assembly Bill No. 333 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) (Stats. 2021, ch. 699, § 3) came into effect on January 1, 2022. Assem. Bill 333 “amended section 186.22 to impose new substantive and procedural requirements for gang allegations.” Additionally, on the same day, Assembly Bill No. 1540 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) (Stats. 2021, ch. 719, §§ 1-7) came into effect, and moved the recall and resentencing provisions of former section 1170(d), to new section 1170.03. Assem. Bill 1540 also clarified the Legislature’s intent that the resentencing court would “apply ameliorative laws . . . that reduce sentences or provide for judicial discretion, regardless of the date of the offense of conviction.” The Court of Appeal concluded Salgado was entitled to the benefit of Assem. Bill 333 because his criminal judgment was no longer final following the recall and resentencing. Accordingly, the Court reversed the gang offense conviction and vacated the jury’s true findings on the gang enhancement allegations. The Court remanded the matter to afford the prosecution an opportunity to retry the gang crime and related enhancements.

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