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Motion to Vacate Conviction Not Automatically Untimely

People v. Perez Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: F080837 (Fifth Appellate District), Opinion Date: August 17, 2021. Defendant filed a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 to vacate a 2000 conviction entered after he pled guilty to felony theft. In the published portion of the opinion, the Court of Appeal addressed the meaning of the timeliness provisions set forth in subdivision (b) of section 1473.7, which is a pure question of law and not dependent upon the facts of this case. The court explained that subdivision (b) contains a general rule requiring the court to deem the motion timely in certain circumstances and a discretionary exception that permits the court to deem the motion untimely if the moving party did not act with reasonable diligence in bringing the motion after specific triggering events. Therefore, the absence of reasonable diligence does not automatically result in the motion being deemed untimely. The court held that a superior court has the discretionary authority, after considering the totality of the circumstances, to deem a motion timely even if the moving party did not act with reasonable diligence. The court reversed the order denying the section 1473.7 motion.

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