California Penal Code Section 1026.5 - Interpretation

In People v. Minahen (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 180, the defendant had been confined after having been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Due to an erroneous calculation of custodial credits, the petition to extend his commitment under Penal Code section 1026.5 was filed after his proper release date and he contended that the court had no power to hold an extension hearing. They rejected his claim, concluding that fundamental jurisdiction had not been lost. "We believe that the extension provisions of Penal Code section 1026.5, subdivision (b)(2) were designed primarily to benefit the public and not the individual defendant. It is only upon proof that the defendant 'represents a substantial danger of physical harm to others' citation that his or her term can be extended, and this can be done only where procedural due process is afforded to the defendant, as in the present case. Thus, we perceive no reason why an extension petition cannot be filed and considered after the original commitment term has expired upon a showing of good cause as to why the petition was not timely filed and assuming the defendant is afforded procedural due process." ( Id. at p. 189.)