Chapter 2.2. Career Criminals 999b-999h of California Penal Code >> Title 6. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2.2.
999b. The Legislature hereby finds a substantial and
disproportionate amount of serious crime is committed against the
people of California by a relatively small number of multiple and
repeat felony offenders, commonly known as career criminals. In
enacting this chapter, the Legislature intends to support increased
efforts by district attorneys' offices to prosecute career criminals
through organizational and operational techniques that have been
proven effective in selected counties in this and other states.
999c. (a) There is hereby established in the Office of Emergency
Services a program of financial and technical assistance for district
attorneys' offices, designated the California Career Criminal
Prosecution Program. All funds appropriated to the office for the
purposes of this chapter shall be administered and disbursed by the
Director of Emergency Services, and shall to the greatest extent
feasible be coordinated or consolidated with federal funds that may
be made available for these purposes.
(b) The Director of Emergency Services is authorized to allocate
and award funds to counties in which career criminal prosecution
units are established in substantial compliance with the policies and
criteria set forth below in Sections 999d, 999e, 999f, and 999g.
(c) The allocation and award of funds shall be made upon
application executed by the county's district attorney and approved
by its board of supervisors. Funds disbursed under this chapter shall
not supplant local funds that would, in the absence of the
California Career Criminal Prosecution Program, be made available to
support the prosecution of felony cases. Funds available under this
program shall not be subject to review as specified in Section 14780
of the Government Code.
999d. Career criminal prosecution units receiving funds under this
chapter shall concentrate enhanced prosecution efforts and resources
upon individuals identified under selection criteria set forth in
Section 999e. Enhanced prosecution efforts and resources shall
include, but not be limited to:
(a) "Vertical" prosecutorial representation, whereby the
prosecutor who makes the initial filing or appearance in a career
criminal case will perform all subsequent court appearances on that
particular case through its conclusion, including the sentencing
(b) Assignment of highly qualified investigators and prosecutors
to career criminal cases; and
(c) Significant reduction of caseloads for investigators and
prosecutors assigned to career criminal cases.
999e. (a) An individual who is under arrest for the commission or
attempted commission of one or more of the felonies listed in
paragraph (1) and who is either being prosecuted for three or more
separate offenses not arising out of the same transaction involving
one or more of those felonies, or has been convicted during the
preceding 10 years for any felony listed in paragraph (2) of this
subdivision, or at least two convictions during the preceding 10
years for any felony listed in paragraph (3) of this subdivision
shall be the subject of career criminal prosecution efforts.
(1) Murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, child molestation,
robbery, carjacking, burglary, arson, receiving stolen property,
grand theft, grand theft auto, lewd and lascivious conduct upon a
child, assault with a firearm, discharging a firearm into an
inhabited structure or vehicle, owning, possessing, or having custody
or control of a firearm, as specified in subdivision (a) or (b) of
Section 29800, or any unlawful act relating to controlled substances
in violation of Section 11351, 11351.5, 11352, or 11378 of the Health
and Safety Code.
(2) Robbery of the first degree, carjacking, burglary of the first
degree, arson as defined in Section 451, unlawfully causing a fire
as defined in Section 452, forcible rape, sodomy or oral copulation
committed with force, lewd or lascivious conduct committed upon a
child, kidnapping as defined in Section 209 or 209.5, murder, or
(3) Grand theft, grand theft auto, receiving stolen property,
robbery of the second degree, burglary of the second degree,
kidnapping as defined in Section 207, assault with a deadly weapon or
instrument, or any unlawful act relating to controlled substances in
violation of Section 11351 or 11352 of the Health and Safety Code.
For purposes of this chapter, the 10-year periods specified in
this section shall be exclusive of any time which the arrested person
has served in state prison.
(b) In applying the career criminal selection criteria set forth
above, a district attorney may elect to limit career criminal
prosecution efforts to persons arrested for any one or more of the
felonies listed in subdivision (a) of this section if crime
statistics demonstrate that the incidence of one or more of these
felonies presents a particularly serious problem in the county.
(c) In exercising the prosecutorial discretion granted by Section
999g, the district attorney shall consider the character, background,
and prior criminal background of the defendant, and the number and
the seriousness of the offenses currently charged against the
999f. (a) Each district attorney's office establishing a career
criminal prosecution unit and receiving state support under this
chapter shall adopt and pursue the following policies for career
(1) A plea of guilty or a trial conviction will be sought on all
the offenses charged in the accusatory pleading against an individual
meeting career criminal selection criteria.
(2) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to resist
the pretrial release of a charged defendant meeting career criminal
(3) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to persuade
the court to impose the most severe authorized sentence upon a person
convicted after prosecution as a career criminal.
(4) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to reduce
the time between arrest and disposition of charge against an
individual meeting career criminal selection criteria.
(b) The prosecution shall not negotiate a plea agreement with a
defendant in a career criminal prosecution; and Sections 1192.1 to
1192.5, inclusive, shall not apply, nor shall any plea of guilty or
nolo contendere authorized by any such section, or any plea of guilty
or nolo contendere as a result of any plea agreement be approved by
the court in a career criminal prosecution.
(c) For purposes of this section a "plea agreement" means an
agreement by the defendant to plead guilty or nolo contendere in
exchange for any or all of the following: a dismissal of charges, a
reduction in the degree of a charge, a change of a charge to a lesser
or different crime, a specific manner or extent of punishment.
(d) This section does not prohibit the reduction of the offense
charged or dismissal of counts in the interest of justice when a
written declaration by the prosecuting attorney stating the specific
factual and legal basis for such reduction or dismissal is presented
to the court and the court, in writing, acknowledges acceptance of
such declaration. A copy of such declaration and acceptance shall be
retained in the case file. The only basis upon which charges may be
reduced or counts dismissed by the court shall be in cases where the
prosecuting attorney decides that there is insufficient evidence to
prove the people's case, the testimony of a material witness cannot
be obtained, or a reduction or dismissal would not result in a
substantial change in sentence.
In any case in which the court or magistrate grants the
prosecuting attorney's motion for a reduction of charges or dismissal
of counts because there would be no substantial change in sentence,
the court or magistrate shall require the prosecuting attorney to put
on the record in open court the following:
(1) The charges filed in the complaint or information and the
maximum statutory penalty that could be given if the defendant were
convicted of all such charges.
(2) The charges which would be filed against the defendant if the
court or magistrate grants the prosecuting attorney's motion and the
maximum statutory penalty which can be given for these charges.
(e) This section does not prohibit a plea agreement when there are
codefendants, and the prosecuting attorney determines that the
information or testimony of the defendant making the agreement is
necessary for the conviction of one or more of the other
codefendants. The court shall condition its acceptance of the plea
agreement on the defendant giving the information or testimony.
Before the court can accept the plea agreement, the prosecuting
attorney shall present a written declaration to the court, specifying
the legal and factual reasons for the agreement, and the court shall
acknowledge in writing its acceptance of that declaration. A copy of
the declaration and acceptance shall be retained in the case file.
999g. The selection criteria set forth in Section 999e shall be
adhered to for each career criminal case unless, in the reasonable
exercise of prosecutor's discretion, extraordinary circumstances
require the departure from such policies in order to promote the
general purposes and intent of this chapter.
999h. The characterization of a defendant as a "career criminal" as
defined by this chapter may not be communicated to the trier of