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Punishment Based on Same Indivisible Course of Conduct Must be Stayed

In re L.J. Docket: A161118 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: November 30, 2021. Antioch police officers, responding to a call about a prowler, tried to stop a Pontiac sedan that the caller had identified. Officers in different vehicles pursued the Pontiac. At one point, an officer started to exit his vehicle with his firearm drawn. The Pontiac accelerated toward the officers, striking the driver’s door on the first vehicle so that it slammed on the officer’s ankle. The Pontiac hit the bumper on the second vehicle, causing no noticeable damage. The Pontiac sideswiped and scratched the third vehicle. After an extended chase with pursuit by a helicopter, officers apprehended the occupants of the Pontiac, including the driver (the minor). The court sustained a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code 602(a) for evasion of a peace officer while driving in willful disregard of others, deadly weapon assault on a peace officer, and force-likely assault. The court of appeal reversed in part. The punishment on the reckless evasion of police count must be stayed because it is based on the same indivisible course of conduct with the same intent and objective as the assault counts. The juvenile court must designate counts 1 and 3 as felonies or misdemeanors. The court rejected an argument that the finding on force-likely assault must be vacated because it is a lesser included offense of deadly weapon assault on a peace officer and is based on the same conduct.

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