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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,394

    Default Re: 21651(B) Rive on Wrong Side of Road

    Jim, the court can and does allow the DA to file these as infractions. I have personally been present in court on such cases as infractions. I am not sure if it is pursuant to PC 17(d) (which also provides for a fine level) or some other section (and I don't have the time to look it up just now). Very, very few misdemeanors in the CVC are actually ever filed as criminal misdemeanors as a practical matter.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: 21651(B) Rive on Wrong Side of Road

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Jim, the court can and does allow the DA to file these as infractions. I have personally been present in court on such cases as infractions. I am not sure if it is pursuant to PC 17(d) (which also provides for a fine level) or some other section (and I don't have the time to look it up just now). Very, very few misdemeanors in the CVC are actually ever filed as criminal misdemeanors as a practical matter.
    cdwjava, If the court is allowing VC 21651(b) to be filed as an infraction, they are doing so in violation of the law. It is obvious from the plain text used in 21651(b) and 40000.13 that it was the intent of the legislature that this particular violation is to be charged as a misdemeanor. There are no conflicting interpretations so, if the language is clear and unambiguous, the court must, by law, follow the dictates of the statute.

    I understand there are vehicle code violations that are considered "wobblers" and can be charged as either an infraction or misdemeanor such as 12500(a) (UNLAWFUL TO DRIVE UNLESS LICENSED) but 21651(b) is not one of them. It can only LEGALLY be charged as a misdemeanor.

    Your reference to PC 17(d) has nothing to do with 21651(b). Penal Code 17(d) states in pertinent part:
    "A violation of any code section listed in Section 19.8 is an infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and 19.7 …"


    Penal Code 19.8 lists the vehicle code violations that 17(d) refers to:
    "Sections 5201.1, 12500, 14601.1, 27150.1, 40508, and 42005 of the Vehicle Code…"

    Neither 17(d) nor any other code section allows for 21651(b) to be filed as an infraction.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,394

    Default Re: 21651(B) Rive on Wrong Side of Road

    Well, there must be some way, as I am aware of 2 county courts that have heard these in traffic court. I cannot say how, but, they were there. Though, it's possible the law changed since then - one was in the 1990s the other in the early 2000s. If there are no options to reduce, then I suspect the OP is in the clear as I cannot imagine that the DA will want to prosecute such an offense. They rarely prosecute thefts or drugs, so why would they want to pursue a traffic offense in front of a jury?
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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