Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 51 Cal. 4th 75, 244 P.3d 496, 119 Cal. Rptr. 3d 99

People v. Martin


Filed 12/30/10

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

THE PEOPLE,
Plaintiff and Respondent,
S175356
v.
Ct.App. 4/2 E046579
LOUIS LAMBERT MARTIN,
San Bernardino County
Defendant and Appellant.
Super. Ct. No. FSB803105

Many criminal matters are resolved not by trial but by plea agreements
between the prosecution and the defendant. Typically, a plea agreement allows
the defendant to plead guilty to one or more charges in exchange for dismissal of
one or more other charges.
Implicit in the plea agreement, which is in the nature of a contract, is the
understanding that the trial court cannot use the facts of a dismissed charge to
impose “adverse sentencing consequences” unless the defendant consents or a
transactional relationship exists between the admitted charge and the dismissed
charge. (People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754, 758 (Harvey).) In Harvey, the
trial court imposed an increased prison term based on the facts of a dismissed
charge. At issue here is whether Harvey applies to the imposition of probation
conditions based on the facts of a dismissed charge. The Court of Appeal
construed Harvey as limited to the imposition of prison sentences. It expressly
disagreed with the Court of Appeal in People v. Beagle (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th
1



415 (Beagle), which construed Harvey as applying also to the imposition of
probation conditions. We agree with the latter view.
I
In July 2008, defendant Louis Lambert Martin lived with his girlfriend in
an apartment in San Bernardino. On July 27, police officers responded to a call of
domestic violence at the apartment. When the officers arrived, defendant was
gone. Defendant‟s girlfriend told the officers that defendant had punched her in
the face and choked her; the officers noticed redness and swelling on her nose and
cheek. She also told the officers of defendant‟s past violence against her, and she
expressed fear of him. After the officers checked the surrounding area and were
unable to find defendant, they left.
Later that same day, the officers returned in response to the girlfriend‟s call
that defendant was back. Upon arrival, the officers saw defendant walk up a
staircase towards the apartment. They ordered defendant to stop. When defendant
failed to do so, the officers ran up the staircase after him. As defendant entered
the apartment‟s front door, one of the officers put his foot in the door to keep it
open. Defendant shut the door on the officer‟s foot and ankle, injuring him.
Defendant then fled, pursued by the officers, who later found him in a carport
trying to hide under a car. When the officers handcuffed defendant, he put up a
fight.
Defendant was charged with the felony of resisting an officer by the use of
force or violence (Pen. Code, § 69; all further statutory references are to the Penal
Code) and the misdemeanor of corporal injury to a cohabitant (§ 273.5, subd. (a)).
The prosecution and defendant negotiated a plea agreement. In exchange for
dismissal of the misdemeanor offense, defendant agreed to plead guilty to the
felony charge, for which he would be placed on probation, which was to include
service of 120 days in county jail.
2

The plea bargain did not mention that defendant would be subject to
probation conditions based on the facts of the dismissed domestic violence charge.
But at a later hearing the trial court stated its intention to impose such probation
conditions.1 When defense counsel objected, the trial court responded that if
defendant did not accept those conditions, the court would set aside the plea
agreement. After conferring with counsel, defendant agreed to all the terms of
probation.
On appeal, defendant argued that the imposition of domestic violence
probation conditions was improper because the plea agreement did not include his
consent to probation conditions flowing from the dismissed domestic violence
charge. The Court of Appeal upheld the challenged conditions. It noted that
Harvey involved an increased prison term and therefore did not apply to probation,
which it characterized as an act of grace or clemency. It rejected the contrary
conclusion of the Court of Appeal in Beagle, supra, 125 Cal.App.4th 415. To
resolve the conflict, we granted defendant‟s petition for review.
II
As noted earlier, the charges against defendant were resolved not by trial
but by a plea bargain. We begin with a brief description of the basic nature of plea
agreements. A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement between the prosecution
and the defendant by which a defendant pleads guilty to one or more charges in
return for dismissal of one or more other charges. (People v. Segura (2008) 44
Cal.4th 921, 930 (Segura).) The agreement must then be submitted to the trial

1
Defendant has not described the challenged probation conditions. Like the
Court of Appeal, we presume that those conditions were these: requiring him to
complete a 52-week “domestic violence batterers‟ program,” to pay $400 to a
domestic violence fund, and to pay $400 to a battered women‟s shelter.
3



court for approval. The court must tell the defendant that the court‟s acceptance of
the proposed plea is not binding, that the court “may, at the time set for the hearing
on the application for probation or pronouncement of judgment, withdraw its
approval,” and that if the court does withdraw its approval the defendant may
withdraw the plea. (§ 1192.5.) Thus, “ „[j]udicial approval is an essential
condition precedent to the effectiveness of the “bargain” worked out by the
defense and prosecution.‟ ” (Segura, supra, at p. 930.)
Because a negotiated plea agreement is in the nature of a contract, “it is
interpreted according to general contract principles.” (People v. Shelton (2006) 37
Cal.4th 759, 767.) The trial court‟s approval of the agreement binds the court to
the terms of the plea bargain, and the defendant‟s sentence must be within the
negotiated terms. (Segura, supra, 44 Cal.4th at pp. 930-931.)
III
Central to the issue here is our decision in Harvey, supra, 25 Cal.3d 754.
There the defendant pled guilty to two counts of robbery, and the prosecution
agreed to dismissal of a factually unrelated count of robbery. At sentencing, the
trial court increased the defendant‟s prison sentence by using the facts of the
dismissed, unrelated robbery charge. That, we stated, the trial court could not do:
“In our view, under the circumstances of this case, it would be improper and unfair
to permit the sentencing court to consider any of the facts underlying the
dismissed count three for purposes of aggravating or enhancing defendant‟s
sentence. Count three was dismissed in consideration of defendant‟s agreement to
plead guilty to counts one and two. Implicit in such a plea bargain, we think, is
the understanding (in the absence of any contrary agreement) that defendant will
suffer no adverse sentencing consequences by reason of the facts underlying, and
solely pertaining to, the dismissed count.” (Id. at p. 758, italics added.)
4

Unlike Harvey, supra, 25 Cal.3d 754, the case now before us involves not a
prison sentence but a grant of probation. As mentioned earlier, defendant pled
guilty to the felony charge of resisting an officer in exchange for dismissal of the
misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. In placing defendant on probation, the
trial court imposed conditions that were related to the dismissed domestic violence
charge. Defendant argues that because the plea bargain did not include his consent
to those probation conditions, they fall within Harvey’s prohibition against
“adverse sentencing consequences” that are based on a plea bargain‟s dismissed
charge.
Defendant relies on Beagle, supra, 125 Cal.App.4th 415, a Court of Appeal
decision that held that a “condition of probation adding a restriction on [a]
defendant‟s conduct is an „adverse sentencing consequence‟ ” under Harvey.
(Beagle, supra, at p. 421.) In rejecting the Beagle holding as “untenable,” the
Court of Appeal here stated that, unlike the imposition of a prison sentence, a
grant of probation is an act of clemency by the trial court. The Court of Appeal
observed, without elaboration, that probation conditions are valid as long as they
(1) have a connection to the crime committed, (2) relate to conduct that is
criminal, or (3) reasonably relate to future criminality. For reasons explained
below, we agree with the Beagle court‟s view.
As discussed earlier, a negotiated plea agreement is in the nature of a
contract. Thus, when the trial court accepts it, the agreement is binding on the
parties and the court. (§ 1192.5; Segura, supra, 44 Cal.4th at pp. 930-931.)
Thereafter, material terms of the agreement cannot be modified without the
parties‟ consent. (Segura, supra, at p. 935.) And, as we stated in Harvey, supra,
25 Cal.3d at page 758, implicit in the plea bargain is the understanding that the
facts of a dismissed charge not related to the facts of the charge to which the
defendant entered a plea may not be used against him without his consent. Central
5

to the Harvey holding is the recognition that the terms of the plea agreement are
binding and are to be honored. Simply stated, the Harvey rationale is that “a deal
is a deal.”
In prohibiting “adverse sentencing consequences” related to the facts of a
dismissed charge and not agreed to in the plea agreement, this court in Harvey,
supra, 25 Cal.3d at page 758, used the quoted phrase simply to describe the
specific way in which the plea agreement in that case was breached, not as a
limitation on the ways in which plea agreements might be breached in other cases,
and not as a modification of the principle that plea agreements are in the nature of
contracts and are binding when accepted by the trial court. In arguing that Harvey
does not apply here, the Attorney General emphasizes the rehabilitative nature of
probation. (See People v. Olguin (2008) 45 Cal.4th 375, 379; People v. Howard
(1997) 16 Cal.4th 1081, 1092.) What matters, however, is not whether the
conditions further the purpose of probation, but whether imposing the challenged
conditions breach the terms of the plea agreement. (See § 1192.5 [defendants
generally “cannot be sentenced on the plea to a punishment more severe than that
specified in the plea and the court may not proceed as to the plea other than as
specified in the plea”].)
Similarly unpersuasive is the Attorney General‟s argument that a general
statutory grant of authority to a trial court relating to probation, such as section
1203.1, subdivision (j)‟s provision authorizing a trial court to impose any
reasonable conditions, overrides the terms of a plea agreement. We recently
rejected a closely related argument in Segura, supra, 44 Cal.4th 921. There the
defendant and the prosecutor negotiated a plea agreement. The prosecution agreed
to dismissal of a prior conviction allegation in exchange for defendant‟s plea of no
contest to the charge of inflicting corporal injury upon his spouse, with probation
6

for five years subject to the condition that he serve 365 days in county jail. (Id. at
p. 926.)
After the defendant in Segura was released from jail, federal authorities
detained him and initiated deportation proceedings because he had been convicted
of an “aggravated felony,” which federal law defines as an offense that is subject
to imprisonment of at least one year, or 365 days. (Segura, supra, 44 Cal.4th at
p. 927.) The defendant then asked the state trial court that had sentenced him to
alter his already served jail sentence to 360 days. The court denied the motion. It
ruled that the 365-day sentence was part of the plea agreement and could not now
be modified. The Court of Appeal reversed. It relied on section 1203.3, which
allows a trial court, at any time during probation, to modify an order of suspension
of imposition or execution of a sentence. Section 1203.3, the Segura Court of
Appeal held, authorizes a trial court to modify any condition of probation,
including those negotiated by the parties and accepted by the court. (Segura,
supra, at pp. 928, 932.) We reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal. We
held that an express and material term of a negotiated plea agreement cannot be
later modified by a court without the consent of both parties, and that such a term
“cannot be altered solely on the basis of the trial court‟s general statutory authority
to modify probation during the probationary period.” (Id. at p. 935.)
Our decisions in Harvey, supra, 25 Cal.3d 754, and Segura, supra, 44
Cal.4th 921, control the issue here. As Harvey stated, an implied term of a plea
agreement is that a defendant will not be adversely affected “by reason of the facts
underlying, and solely pertaining to, the dismissed count.” (Harvey, supra, at
p. 758.) And, as Segura made clear, a trial court‟s general statutory authority to
impose conditions of probation (see § 1203.1, subd. (j)) does not nullify or
supersede the terms of the plea agreement. (Segura, supra, at p. 935.) If the trial
court finds a plea agreement to be unacceptable, the remedy is for the court to
7

reject it, not to impose conditions inconsistent with the plea agreement. (Id. at
p. 931.)
To summarize, when under a plea agreement a defendant pleads guilty to
one or more charges in exchange for dismissal of one or more charges, the trial
court cannot, in placing the defendant on probation, impose conditions that are
based solely on the dismissed charge or charges unless the defendant agreed to
them or unless there is a “transactional” relationship between the charge or
charges to which the defendant pled and the facts of the dismissed charge or
charges. (Harvey, supra, 25 Cal.3d at p. 758.) We now apply that holding to this
case.
IV
When the trial court, before accepting the plea bargain, expressed its
intention to impose certain probation conditions related to the dismissed domestic
violence charge, defense counsel objected. The trial court stated that it would
reject the plea bargain unless defendant agreed to the domestic violence
conditions. After defense counsel conferred with defendant, the following
colloquy between defense counsel and the court occurred:
“[Counsel] He wants to stand by his plea, Your Honor.
“[Court] I don‟t know what that means.
“[Counsel] Based on the Court’s indicated sentence and probation terms,
he’s willing to accept those probation terms.
“[Court] And the D.V. [domestic violence] terms?
“[Counsel] Yes, Your Honor.” (Italics added.)
The trial court then accepted the plea agreement and placed defendant on
probation. Because defendant expressly agreed to the domestic violence
conditions of probation, they were validly imposed. As that conclusion resolves
this case, we need not and do not decide whether the admitted charge and the
8

dismissed charge were “transactionally related.” (Harvey, supra, 25 Cal.3d at
p. 758.)2
The judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed.
KENNARD, J.
WE CONCUR:

GEORGE, C. J.
BAXTER, J.
WERDEGAR, J.
CHIN, J.
MORENO, J.
CORRIGAN, J.

2
To be clear, we are concluding, as a matter of substantive law, that the trial
court did not err when it imposed the domestic violence probation conditions,
which were based on a dismissed charge, because defendant expressly agreed to
those very conditions, thereby waiving the right this court recognized in Harvey,
supra
, 25 Cal.3d at p. 758. We are not here addressing any procedural questions
regarding preservation or forfeiture of appellate issues. Such questions might be
presented if, instead of expressly agreeing to the domestic violence probations
conditions, defendant instead had failed to object, or had withdrawn his objection,
to those conditions. (See People v. Welch (1993) 5 Cal.4th 228, 234-237 [trial
court objection generally required to preserve challenge to probation condition].)
Likewise, we are not considering a situation in which a defendant, after the trial
court has overruled an objection to proposed probation conditions, has merely
agreed to accept the grant of probation without expressly agreeing to the
challenged probation conditions.
9



See next page for addresses and telephone numbers for counsel who argued in Supreme Court.

Name of Opinion People v. Martin
__________________________________________________________________________________

Unpublished Opinion


Original Appeal
Original Proceeding
Review Granted
XXX 175 Cal.App.4th 1252
Rehearing Granted

__________________________________________________________________________________

Opinion No.

S175356
Date Filed: December 30, 2010
__________________________________________________________________________________

Court:

Superior
County: San Bernardino
Judge: John N. Martin

__________________________________________________________________________________

Attorneys:

Conrad Herring, under appointment by the Supreme Court for Defendant and Appellant.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W.
Schons, Assistant Attorney General, Lynne McGinnis and Kelley A. Johnson, Deputy Attorneys General,
for Plaintiff and Respondent.



Counsel who argued in Supreme Court (not intended for publication with opinion):

Conrad Herring
3525 Del Mar Heights Rd., No. 305
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 792-1539

Kelley A. Johnson
Deputy Attorney General
110 West A Street, Suite 1100
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 645-3155

Petition for review after the Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment of conviction of a criminal offense. This case presents the following issue: Can factors underlying a charged criminal offense that is dismissed as part of a plea bargain be considered in setting conditions of probation if the plea agreement did not include a Harvey waiver (People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754) permitting the dismissed count to be considered in determining the sentence to be imposed?

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:
Thu, 12/30/201051 Cal. 4th 75, 244 P.3d 496, 119 Cal. Rptr. 3d 99S175356Review - Criminal Appealsubmitted/opinion due

Parties
1The People (Plaintiff and Respondent)
Represented by Kelley Ann Johnson
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 85266
San Diego, CA

2Martin, Louis Lambert (Defendant and Appellant)
1269 E. 38th St.
San Bernardino, CA 92404

Represented by Conrad Herring
Attorney at Law
3525 Del Mar Heights Road, Suite 305
San Diego, CA


Opinion Authors
OpinionJustice Joyce L. Kennard

Dockets
Aug 10 2009Received premature petition for review
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring   Louis Lambert Martin, Defendant and Appellant. Conrad Herring, Appointed attorney and Assisted.
Aug 18 2009Case start: Petition for review filed
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring   Louis Lambert Martin, Defendant-Appellant Conrad Herring, Appointed attorney Assisted.
Aug 19 2009Record requested
 
Aug 24 2009Received Court of Appeal record
  one doghouse
Oct 14 2009Time extended to grant or deny review
  The time for granting or denying review in the above-entitled matter is hereby extended to and including November 16, 2009, or the date upon which review is either granted or denied.
Oct 22 2009Petition for review granted
  Votes: George, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.
Oct 22 2009Record sent to Calendar Coordination Office
  Ct, Rt, 2, 3, 4, 7, Misc papers, orders, confidential envelopes, etc.
Nov 19 2009Counsel appointment order filed
  Upon request of appellant for appointment of counsel, Conrad Herring is hereby appointed to represent appellant on the appeal now pending in this court. Appellant's brief on the merits must be served and filed on or before thirty (30) days from the date of this order.
Dec 28 2009Request for extension of time filed
  thirty (30) days, to and including January 20, 2010, to serve and file appellant's Opening Brief on the Merits. Louis L. Martin, appellant by Conrad Herring, counsel
Jan 5 2010Extension of time granted
  On application of appellant and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file the Appellant's Opening Brief on the Merits is extended to and including January 20, 2010.
Jan 22 2010Opening brief on the merits filed
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring   CRC 8.25(b)
Feb 16 2010Request for extension of time filed
  Respondent requesting a 30-day extension to and including March 23, 2010, to file respondent's answer brief on the merits.
Feb 19 2010Extension of time granted
  On application of respondent and good cause appearing, it is ordered that the time to serve and file respondent's answer brief on the merits is extended to and including March 23, 2010.
Mar 10 2010Compensation awarded counsel
  Atty Herring
Mar 23 2010Answer brief on the merits filed
Plaintiff and Respondent: The PeopleAttorney: Kelley Ann Johnson  
Apr 14 2010Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring  
Oct 5 2010Case ordered on calendar
  to be argued on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., in San Francisco
Nov 2 2010Cause argued and submitted
 
Dec 29 2010Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
  To be filed on Thursday, December 30, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

Briefs
Jan 22 2010Opening brief on the merits filed
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring  
Mar 23 2010Answer brief on the merits filed
Plaintiff and Respondent: The PeopleAttorney: Kelley Ann Johnson  
Apr 14 2010Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
Defendant and Appellant: Martin, Louis LambertAttorney: Conrad Herring  
Brief Downloads
application/pdf icon
appellants-petition-for-review.pdf (305616 bytes)
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appellants-opening-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (204060 bytes)
application/pdf icon
respondents-answer-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (307688 bytes)
application/pdf icon
appellants-reply-brief-on-the-merits.pdf (120256 bytes)
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website
Jan 18, 2011
Annotated by lcarrillo

FACTS

On July 27, 2008 officers responded to a domestic violence call at the apartment defendant Louis Lambert Martin shared with his girlfriend in San Bernardino. The defendant was not present when the officers arrived but his girlfriend told the officers that he had punched her in the face and choked her. Officers checked the surrounding area by the apartment and departed the scene after being unable to locate the defendant.

Later that same day the girlfriend phone officers to inform them that the defendant had returned. When officers arrived, they observed the defendant walking up the staircase towards the apartment and ordered him to stop. Defendant refused to stop and officers pursued him up the staircase and one officer placed his foot in the doorway of the apartment to prevent the defendant from closing it. Defendant then shut the door on the officer’s foot, injuring him and fled from the scene. Officers pursued him and eventually found him hiding in a carport and he continued to put up a fight as officers handcuffed him.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The defendant was charged with a felony for resisting an officer by the use of force or violence, and the misdemeanor of corporal injury to a cohabitant. The prosecution and the defendant negotiated a plea agreement, which stipulated that the defendant would plead guilty to the felony charged and the misdemeanor charged would be dismissed. The defendant was to be placed in probation and serve 120 days in jail. The trial court insisted on imposing probation conditions based on the fact of the facts of the dismissed domestic violence charge. Defense counsel first objected but the defendant eventually agreed to the court’s terms of the plea agreement.

On appeal the defendant argued that the imposition of probation conditions was improper because he did not consent to the use of the facts from the dismissed charge. The Court of Appeal upheld the probation conditions, noting that People v. Harvey applied only to increased prison terms and not probation, contrary to People v. Beagle. The Supreme Court of California granted review in order to resolve a conflict among Courts of Appeal.

ISSUES

Does Harvey apple to the imposition of probation conditions based on the facts of a dismissed charge? In other words, can a court use the facts of a dismissed charge to impose “adverse sentencing consequences” if the defendant consents or there is a transactional relationship between the admitted charged and dismissed charge?

HOLDING

Harvey applies to the imposition of prison sentences and probation conditions. The court upheld the defendant’s probation conditions because the record shows that the defendant expressly agreed to the probation conditions.

ANALYSIS

The court stated that at its core a “plea bargain” is a negotiated agreement between the prosecution and defense and is in essence a contract, “interpreted according to general contract principles.” After the plea bargain is reached material terms of the agreement cannot be changed without the consent of the parties.

In People v. Harvey, the court held the trial court could not use the facts of a dismissed charge to increase the defendant’s prison sentence. Furthermore, the court in Harvey held that is “implicit in such a plea bargain…is the understanding that…defendant will suffer no adverse sentencing consequences by reason of the facts underlying, and solely pertaining to, the dismissed count.”

The defendant Martin argued that Harvey applies to his plea bargain and that he did not consent to the probation conditions. The state argued (1) that the nature of probation is rehabilitative and not punishment per se, and (2) that the trial court has a general grant of statutory authority relating to probation. The court rejected both of these arguments and held that a trial court cannot impose probation conditions that are based on the dismissed charge unless the defendant consents or there is a “transactional” relationship between the two charges.

TAGS

Plea agreements, plea bargaining, domestic violence, contract, probation, probation conditions, “transactional” relationship, Harvey waiver

KEY RELATED CASES

People v. Harvey (1979) 25 Cal.3d 754
http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14433664166811285278&q=peopl...

People v. Beagle (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th 415
http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14611182284145868970&q=peopl...

People v. Segura (2008) 44 Cal.4th 921
http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4330008049201818882&q=people...

Annotation by: Lisa Carrillo