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Part of Defendant's Sentence Reversed

California v. Sims Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: D077024 (Fourth Appellate District), Opinion Date: January 12, 2021. Defendant Tony Sims appealed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition. He contended the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppress incriminating evidence obtained during a warrantless search of his vehicle. Defendant also argued he was entitled to seek a reduction of his three-year probation term under recently-enacted Assembly Bill No. 1950 (Stats. 2020, ch. 328, sec. 2). Relying on In re Estrada, 63 Cal.2d 740 (1965), defendant claimed Assembly Bill No. 1950’s limitation on the maximum duration of felony probation terms constituted an ameliorative change to the criminal law that applied retroactively to cases that were not reduced to final judgment as of the new law’s effective date. The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress because the search of defendant’s vehicle was valid under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement and, in the alternative, as a search incident to arrest. With respect to his second argument, the Court of Appeal agreed. Judgment was affirmed as to his conviction, but reversed in part as to defendant's sentence. The matter was remanded for resentencing.

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