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2019 California Rules of Court

Rule 4.452. Determinate sentence consecutive to prior determinate sentence

If a determinate sentence is imposed under section 1170.1(a) consecutive to one or more determinate sentences imposed previously in the same court or in other courts, the court in the current case must pronounce a single aggregate term, as defined in section 1170.1(a), stating the result of combining the previous and current sentences. In those situations:

(1)The sentences on all determinately sentenced counts in all of the cases on which a sentence was or is being imposed must be combined as though they were all counts in the current case.

(2)The judge in the current case must make a new determination of which count, in the combined cases, represents the principal term, as defined in section 1170.1(a). The principal term is the term with the greatest punishment imposed including conduct enhancements. If two terms of imprisonment have the same punishment, either term may be selected as the principal term.

(3)Discretionary decisions of the judges in the previous cases may not be changed by the judge in the current case. Such decisions include the decision to impose one of the three authorized terms of imprisonment referred to in section 1170(b), making counts in prior cases concurrent with or consecutive to each other, or the decision that circumstances in mitigation or in the furtherance of justice justified striking the punishment for an enhancement. However, if a previously designated principal term becomes a subordinate term after the resentencing, the subordinate term will be limited to one-third the middle base term as provided in section 1170.1(a).

Rule 4.452 amended effective January 1, 2018; adopted as rule 452 effective January 1, 1991; previously renumbered effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective July 1, 2003, January 1, 2007, May 23, 2007, and January 1, 2017.

Advisory Committee Comment

The restrictions of subdivision (3) do not apply to circumstances where a previously imposed base term is made a consecutive term on resentencing. If the judge selects a consecutive sentence structure, and since there can be only one principal term in the final aggregate sentence, if a previously imposed full base term becomes a subordinate consecutive term, the new consecutive term normally will become one-third the middle term by operation of law (section 1170.1(a)).

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