No Dual Convictions of PC 245(c) Based on the Same Act or Course of Conduct
March 6th, 2020

PC 954 authorizes multiple convictions for different or distinct offenses but does not permit multiple convictions for a different statement of the same offense when it is based on the same act or course of conduct. (People v. Vidana (2016) 1 Cal.5th 632, 650.)

Whether a statute defines different offenses or merely different ways of committing the same offense “properly turns on the Legislature’s intent in enacting these provisions, and if the Legislature meant to define only one offense, we may not turn it into two.” (People v. Gonzalez (2014) 60 Cal.4th 533, 537.)

In re C.D. (2017) 18 Cal.App.5th 1021, 1029 held that PC 245(c) describes a single offense. ([“Aggravated assault against a peace officer under section 245, subdivision (c), remains a single offense, and multiple violations of the statute cannot be found when they are based on the same act or course of conduct.”]

Therefore, if the prosecution relies on multiple theories to support a PC 245(c) charge, the jury must unanimously agree on at least one theory as the basis for the verdict. (See e.g., CC 3516).

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