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AB-2487 Criminal procedure.(2013-2014)

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AB2487:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 10, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2487


Introduced by Assembly Member Wagner

February 21, 2014


An act to amend Section 869 of the Penal Code, and to amend Section 40902 of the Vehicle Code, relating to criminal procedure.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2487, as amended, Wagner. Criminal procedure.

Existing law requires the testimony of each witness in cases of homicide to be reduced to writing, as specified. In cases other than homicide cases, existing law requires the testimony of each witness be reduced to writing, as specified, at the request of either the defendant or the prosecution. Existing law authorizes the magistrate before whom the examination of a witness is had to order that the testimony and proceedings be taken down in shorthand, and to appoint a shorthand reporter for that purpose. Existing law requires that deposition or witness testimony to be authenticated, as specified.

Under existing law, when a defendant is charged with a felony, the reporter is required to transcribe his or her shorthand notes within 10 days following the close of examination, making originals and copies available, as specified. If the defendant is charged with a crime other than a felony, existing law requires the reporter to transcribe his or her shorthand notes within 10 days following the close of examination, making originals and copies available, as specified, at the request of either the defendant or the prosecution.

This bill would instead require the reporter to transcribe his or her shorthand notes within 10 days following the close of examination, making originals and copies available, as specified, when a defendant is charged with homicide. In all other cases, the bill would require the reporter to transcribe his or her shorthand notes at the request of the defendant or the prosecution, within 10 days following that request, making originals and copies available, as specified.

Existing law authorizes a defendant who is charged with a vehicle infraction to elect to have a trial by written declaration, as specified. Under existing law, if the defendant is dissatisfied with the decision of the court in the trial by written declaration, he or she is entitled to a trial de novo.
This bill would delete the requirement that those defendants be granted a trial de novo.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.Section 869 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
869.

The testimony of each witness in cases of homicide shall be reduced to writing, as a deposition, by the magistrate, or under his or her direction, and in other cases upon the demand of the prosecuting attorney, or the defendant, or his or her counsel. The magistrate before whom the examination is had may, in his or her discretion, order the testimony and proceedings to be taken down in shorthand in all examinations specified in this section, and for that purpose he or she may appoint a shorthand reporter. The deposition or testimony of the witness shall be authenticated in the following form:

(a)It shall state the name of the witness, his or her place of residence, and his or her business or profession; except that if the witness is a peace officer, it shall state his or her name, and the address given in his or her testimony at the hearing.

(b)It shall contain the questions put to the witness and his or her answers thereto, each answer being distinctly read to him or her as it is taken down, and being corrected or added to until it conforms to what he or she declares is the truth, except in cases where the testimony is taken down in shorthand, the answer or answers of the witness need not be read to him or her.

(c)If a question put be objected to on either side and overruled, or the witness declines answering it, that fact, with the ground on which the question was overruled or the answer declined, shall be stated.

(d)The deposition shall be signed by the witness, or if he or she refuses to sign it, his or her reason for refusing shall be stated in writing, as he or she gives it, except in cases where the deposition is taken down in shorthand, it need not be signed by the witness.

(e)(1)If the defendant is charged with homicide, the reporter shall transcribe his or her shorthand notes within 10 days following the close of examination, making an original, one copy, and as many additional copies thereof as there are defendants (other than fictitious defendants), regardless of the number of charges or fictitious defendants included in the same examination, and certify and deliver the original and all copies to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the defendant was examined. Before receiving any compensation as a reporter, the reporter shall file his or her affidavit setting forth that the transcript has been delivered within the time required by this paragraph. The reporter’s compensation for services rendered by him or her as the reporter in any court of this state shall be reduced by one-half if the reporter does not comply with provisions of this paragraph as to the time of filing the transcript.

(2)If the defendant is charged with a crime other than homicide, and either the defendant or the prosecution requests, the reporter shall transcribe his or her shorthand notes within 10 days following the request, making an original, one copy, and as many additional copies thereof as there are defendants (other than fictitious defendants), regardless of the number of charges or fictitious defendants included in the same examination, and certify and deliver the original and all copies to the clerk of the superior court in the county in which the defendant was examined. Before receiving any compensation as a reporter, the reporter shall file his or her affidavit setting forth that the transcript has been delivered within the time required by this paragraph. The reporter’s compensation for services rendered by him or her as the reporter in any court of this state shall be reduced by one-half if the reporter does not comply with provisions of this paragraph as to the time of filing the transcript.

(f)In every case in which a transcript is delivered as provided in this section, the clerk of the court shall file the original of the transcript with the papers in the case, and shall deliver a copy of the transcript to the district attorney immediately upon his or her receipt thereof and shall deliver a copy of said transcript to each defendant (other than a fictitious defendant) at least five days before trial or upon earlier demand by him or her without cost to him or her; provided, that if any defendant be held to answer to two or more charges upon the same examination and thereafter the district attorney shall file separate informations upon said several charges, the delivery to each such defendant of one copy of the transcript of the examination shall be in compliance with this section as to all of those informations.

(g)If the transcript is delivered by the reporter within the time specified in this section, the reporter shall be entitled to receive the compensation fixed and allowed by law to reporters in the superior courts of this state.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Section 40902 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

40902.
 (a) (1) The court, pursuant to this section, shall, by rule, provide that the defendant may elect to have a trial by written declaration upon any alleged infraction, as charged by the citing officer, involving a violation of this code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to this code, other than an infraction cited pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 23152) of Chapter 12 of Division 11.
(2) The Judicial Council may adopt rules and forms governing trials by declaration in accordance with this section. Any rule or form adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to this paragraph shall supersede any local rule of a court adopted pursuant to paragraph (1).
(b) If the defendant elects to have a trial by written declaration, the defendant shall, at the time of submitting that declaration, submit bail in the amount established in the uniform traffic penalty schedule pursuant to Section 40310. If the defendant is found not guilty or if the charges are otherwise dismissed, the amount of the bail shall be promptly refunded to the defendant.
(c) Notwithstanding Division 10 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Evidence Code, the rules governing trials by written declaration may provide for testimony and other relevant evidence to be introduced in the form of a notice to appear issued pursuant to Section 40500, a business record or receipt, a sworn declaration of the arresting officer, or a written statement or letter signed by the defendant.