Felony Committed on the Same Occasion - Three Strikes Law

Under the three strikes law, Penal Code section 667, subdivision (c)(6) and (7) provides: "(6) If there is a current conviction for more than one felony count not committed on the same occasion, and not arising from the same set of operative facts, the court shall sentence the defendant consecutively on each count pursuant to subdivision (e). (7) If there is a current conviction for more than one serious or violent felony as described in paragraph (6), the court shall impose the sentence for each conviction consecutive to the sentence for any other conviction for which the defendant may be consecutively sentenced in the manner prescribed by law." Section 667, subdivision (c)(6) mandates consecutive sentences for any current felony convictions " 'not committed on the same occasion, and not arising from the same set of operative facts.' " (People v. Lawrence (2000) 24 Cal.4th 219, 222-223 (Lawrence).) Conversely, consecutive sentences are not mandatory if the current felony convictions are committed on the same occasion or arise from the same set of operative facts. (People v. Deloza (1998) 18 Cal.4th 585, 591 (Deloza).) The Supreme Court found that "same occasion" refers to a close temporal and spatial proximity between the acts underlying the convictions. (Deloza, supra, 18 Cal.4th at p. 594.) In Deloza the defendant committed four robberies simultaneously in a furniture store. One victim approached the defendant as he was robbing the other three. The court concluded defendant's "criminal activity was not thereby interrupted, but merely continued with her as an additional victim." (Deloza, supra, 18 Cal.4th at p. 596.) Therefore, the offenses occurred on the same occasion within the meaning of the three strikes law and consecutive sentences were not mandatory. (Id. at pp. 596, 600.) The court reached the opposite conclusion in Lawrence, supra, 24 Cal.4th 219. In Lawrence the defendant stole alcohol from a store, ran away, and jumped a nearby fence. The homeowner chased and tackled the defendant. The two men fought until the homeowner's girlfriend approached them with a baseball bat. The defendant struck the girlfriend in the head with the bottle. (Id. at pp. 223-224.) The Lawrence court applied the close spatial and temporal proximity test and concluded the aggravated assault against the girlfriend that took place two to three minutes after the theft from the market at a spot one to three blocks away was not committed on the same occasion as the theft within the meaning of section 667, subdivision (c)(6). (Lawrence, supra, 24 Cal.4th at p. 229.) In addition, the court set forth several factors to consider in applying the test: "The nature and elements of the current charged offenses--for example, the extent to which common acts and elements of such offenses unfold together or overlap, and the extent to which the elements of one offense have been satisfied, rendering that offense completed in the eyes of the law before the commission of further criminal acts constituting additional and separately chargeable crimes." (Id. at p. 233.)