Committing a Crime With a Strike and Two Prior Prison Terms

In People v. Alford (2010) 180 Cal.App.4th 1463, the defendant was convicted of second degree burglary and grand theft with a strike and two prior prison terms. (Id. at p. 1467.) The trial court sentenced the defendant on the burglary, strike, and prison priors, but stayed imposition of sentence for the grand theft count. (Ibid.) The Court held this was an unauthorized sentence. (Id. at pp. 1466, 1467.) Giving guidance to trial courts on how to implement section 654, we stated: "Imposition of concurrent sentences is not the correct method of implementing section 654, because a concurrent sentence is still punishment. " (Id. at. 1468.) The Court additionally recognized: "Nor is staying imposition of sentence an option. 'Upon conviction it is the duty of the court to pass sentence on the defendant and impose the punishment prescribed. Pursuant to this duty the court must either sentence the defendant or grant probation in a lawful manner; it has no other discretion.' " (Ibid.) Finding it would waste judicial resources to remand for resentencing, the Court modified the judgment to impose a two-year middle term for grand theft, doubled for the strike and an extra two years for the prison priors, for a six-year term stayed pursuant to section 654. (Id. at p. 1473.)