California Penal Code Section 1192.5 - Interpretation

In People v. Crandell (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1301, the defendant entered into a negotiated no contest plea without having been given the section 1192.5 admonition. He was advised that he would receive a 13-year prison term and that he would "'have to pay a restitution fund fine of a minimum of $ 200, a maximum of $ 10,000'" (Crandell, supra, 40 Cal.4th at p. 1305), but was not told what the exact amount of that fine would be. He was sentenced to 13 years, and the court imposed a $ 2,600 restitution fine. He then appealed and argued that the trial court violated the plea agreement by imposing the $ 2,600 restitution fine. the California Supreme Court rejected the argument that the terms of a plea bargain are violated if the statement or recitation of that bargain does not include the exact amount of the restitution fine to be imposed. "'The core question in every case is ... whether the restitution fine was actually negotiated and made a part of the plea agreement, or whether it was left to the discretion of the court.'" (Crandell, supra, 40 Cal.4th at p. 1309.) "When a restitution fine above the statutory minimum is imposed contrary to the actual terms of a plea bargain, the defendant is entitled to a remedy. In this case, however, because the record demonstrates that the parties intended to leave the amount of defendant's restitution fine to the discretion of the court, defendant is not entitled to relief." (Ibid.)