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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 4.405. Definitions

As used in this division, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1)  "These rules" means the rules in this division.

(2)  "Base term" is the determinate or indeterminate sentence imposed for the commission of a crime, not including any enhancements that carry an additional term of imprisonment.

(3)  When a person is convicted of two or more felonies, the "principal term" is the greatest determinate term of imprisonment imposed by the court for any of the crimes, including any term imposed for applicable count-specific enhancements.

(4)  When a person is convicted of two or more felonies, the "subordinate term" is the determinate term imposed for an offense, plus any count-specific enhancements applicable to the offense ordered to run consecutively to the principal term.

(5)  "Enhancement" means an additional term of imprisonment added to the base term.

(6)  "Offense" means the offense of conviction unless a different meaning is specified or is otherwise clear from the context. The term "instant" or "current" is used in connection with "offense" or "offense of conviction" to distinguish the violation for which the defendant is being sentenced from an enhancement, prior or subsequent offense, or from an offense before another court.

(7)  "Aggravation," or "circumstances in aggravation means factors that justify the imposition of the upper prison term referred to in section 1170(b) and 1170.1, or factors that the court may consider in exercising discretion authorized by statute and under these rules including imposing the middle term instead of a low term, denying probation, ordering consecutive sentences, or determining whether to exercise discretion pursuant to section 1385(c).

(8)  "Mitigation" or "circumstances in mitigation" means factors that the court may consider in its broad sentencing discretion authorized by statute and under these rules.

(9)  "Sentence choice" means the selection of any disposition of the case that does not amount to a dismissal, acquittal, or grant of a new trial.

(10)  "Section" means a section of the Penal Code.

(11)  "Imprisonment" means confinement in a state prison or county jail under section 1170(h).

(12)  "Charged" means charged in the indictment or information.

(13)  "Found" means admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact upon trial.

(14)  "Mandatory supervision" means the period of supervision defined in section 1170(h)(5)(A), (B).

(15)  "Postrelease community supervision" means the period of supervision governed by section 3451 et seq.

(16)  "Risk/needs assessment" means a standardized, validated evaluation tool designed to measure an offender's actuarial risk factors and specific needs that, if successfully addressed, may reduce the likelihood of future criminal activity.

(17)  "Evidence-based practices" means supervision policies, procedures, programs, and practices demonstrated by scientific research to reduce recidivism among individuals under probation, parole, or postrelease supervision

(18)  "Community-based corrections program" means a program consisting of a system of services for felony offenders under local supervision dedicated to the goals stated in section 1229(c)(1)-(5).

(19)  "Local supervision" means the supervision of an adult felony offender on probation, mandatory supervision, or postrelease community supervision.

(20)  "County jail" means local county correctional facility.

Rule 4.405 amended effective March 14, 2022; adopted as rule 405 effective July 1, 1977; previously renumbered effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective July 28, 1977, January 1, 1991, July 1, 2003, January 1, 2007, May 23, 2007, January 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018.

Advisory Committee Comment

The Legislature amended the determinate sentencing law to require courts to order imposition of a sentence or enhancement not to exceed the middle term unless factors in aggravation justify imposition of the upper term and are stipulated to by the defendant or found true beyond a reasonable doubt at trial by the jury or by the judge in a court trial. (See Sen. Bill 567; Stats. 2021, ch. 731.) However, in determining whether to impose the upper term for a criminal offense, the court may consider as an aggravating factor that a defendant has suffered one or more prior convictions, based on certified records of conviction. This exception may not be used to select the upper term of an enhancement.

The court may exercise its judicial discretion in imposing the middle term or low term and must state the facts and reasons on the record for choosing the sentence imposed. In exercising this discretion between the middle term and the low term, the court may rely on aggravating factors that have not been stipulated to by the defendant or proven beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Black (2007) 41 Cal.4th 799.)

The Legislature also amended the determinate sentencing law to require courts to order imposition of the low term when the court finds that certain factors contributed to the commission of the crime unless the court finds that it would not be in the interests of justice to do so because the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors. (Pen. Code, § 1170(b)(6).)

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