People v. International Fidelity Ins. Co – Case Brief Summary (California)

In People v. International Fidelity Ins. Co. (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 1391, Rojas originally was charged with attempted murder (§§ 187, subd. (a), 664, subd. (a)); second degree robbery (§§ 211, 212.5, subd. (c)); and aggravated assault (§ 245, subd. (a)(1)).

Sentencing enhancements for personal use of a deadly weapon, a knife (§§ 12022, subd. (b)(1), 1192.7), and infliction of great bodily injury (§§ 12022.7, subd. (a), 1192.7, 667.5) were alleged. All crimes were alleged to have been committed against Can Quach on December 17, 2005. (Fidelity, supra, 185 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1393-1394.)

After the surety issued a bail bond for Rojas's release, the district attorney filed an amended felony complaint which additionally charged Rojas with committing second degree robbery against another victim, Thao Nguyen, on the same date, December 17, 2005, and further alleged Rojas personally used a deadly weapon in doing so. (Id. at p. 1394.)

Fidelity held that by the express language of its bond, the surety in that case undertook to guarantee the defendant's appearance to answer "not only the charges alleged in the original complaint, but also those charges in the first amended information. Although defendant Rojas was subject to a greater potential maximum penalty under the first amended information than he had been under the original complaint, the charges in the first amended information were based on the same acts alleged in the complaint." (Fidelity, supra, 185 Cal.App.4th at p. 1393.)

Fidelity held the language of the bond was controlling, and therefore the addition of new charges and enhancements did not exonerate the bail bond. (Id. at pp. 1395-1399.)