Proposition 47 Applies to Joy Riding Because Temporary Taking Is LIO of Permanent Taking
August 7th, 2020

Proposition 47 provides that theft of $950 or less is just a misdemeanor. People v. Page (2017) 3 C5th 1175 held that a violation of VC 10851 (aka joyriding) for stealing a car worth $950 or less is covered by Proposition 47. However, VC 10851 describes both taking the car and driving the car and Page concluded that post-theft driving does not qualify for Proposition 47. (See also People v. Morales (2019) 33 CA5th 800, 808 [rejecting equal protection challenge to this disparity and finding no absurdity in potential for more severe punishment of posttheft driving than for theft, in part because “[d]riving is an inherently dangerous activity, driving illegally even more so, and although the theft of a car is a single incident, driving a car without its owner’s permission may be done many times, multiplying the threat to public safety”].)



People v. Bullard (2020) 9 C5th 94 held that temporary taking is a lesser-included offense within permanent taking and that both are covered by Proposition 47: “Except where a conviction is based on post-theft driving (i.e., driving separated from the vehicle’s taking by a substantial break), a violation of section 10851 must be punished as a misdemeanor theft offense if the vehicle is worth $950 or less.” For post-sentencing relief under PC 1170.18, the defense bears the burden of showing facts justifying relief, while in pending cases the DA has the burden of showing the defendant doesn’t qualify.

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