Penal Code 12022.1 PC | Committing a Felony While on Bail


Penal Code 12022.1 PC – Committing a Felony While on Bail

What’s up! This article will explain California’s law against committing a felony while out on bail under Penal Code 12022.1 PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at how it works, penalties, defenses, and more. No fancy legal talk here!

What is Penal Code 12022.1 PC?

Penal Code 12022.1 PC is a California sentencing enhancement that adds 2 years in state prison if you [1]:

  • Are out on bail or own recognizance (OR) release
  • Commit another felony while released
  • Are convicted of both the first (primary) and second (secondary) felonies

This enhancement punishes those who violate the court’s trust by re-offending while out on bail or OR release.

Primary vs. Secondary Offenses

The main felony you were out on bail for is the primary offense. The new felony committed while out on bail is the secondary offense [2].

Example: You are out on bail for burglary. While on bail, you commit grand theft auto. Burglary = primary offense. Grand theft auto = secondary offense.

Penalties Under PC 12022.1

If convicted of both a primary and secondary felony, you face [3]:

  • 2 years extra in state prison
  • Must serve the full term consecutive to the primary sentence

So you serve your primary sentence first, then the extra 2 years for the enhancement.

How Does the Enhancement Work?

For the 2 years extra to apply [4]:

  • You must be convicted of both the primary and secondary felony
  • The primary felony must result in a state prison sentence

If convicted of only one felony, the enhancement doesn’t apply.

Recent Changes to Bail Laws

Recent changes affecting PC 12022.1 include [5]:

  • Eliminating cash bail for many offenses through CA Bill AB 10
  • More reliance on risk assessments for release decisions

So fewer people are paying cash bail now in California.

Legal Defenses Against PC 12022.1

Possible defenses include [6]:

  • You were not convicted of the primary felony
  • You were not convicted of the secondary felony
  • The secondary offense was a misdemeanor, not felony

An attorney can argue against this enhancement at your sentencing hearing.

Fighting PC 12022.1 Allegations

If facing a PC 12022.1 enhancement, make sure to [2]:

  • Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney
  • Challenge any weak evidence related to the felonies
  • Try to get one felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor
  • Ask your lawyer to argue against the enhancement at sentencing

With an attorney’s help, you may be able to avoid the extra 2 years in prison under this enhancement.

Related Sentencing Enhancements

Other enhancements for re-offending include:

  • PC 667.5(c) – Prior prison terms
  • PC 12022 – Committing a felony while armed
  • PC 12022.6 – Taking property in excess of $500,000

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help fight all sentencing enhancements.

Recent Case Examples

Here are some examples of PC 12022.1 cases:

  • People v. Clark – Clark got 2 extra years for committing robbery while out on bail for assault. His lawyer argued unsuccessfully against the enhancement.
  • People v. Miller – Miller avoided the enhancement because his original drug felony was reduced to a misdemeanor.

These highlight that the enhancement applies only if convicted of two felonies.

Get Legal Help Fighting Bail Enhancements

Never go through a felony case involving PC 12022.1 allegations without an experienced criminal defense lawyer. They can thoroughly analyze the charges and evidence and identify the best ways to avoid the 2-year enhancement. Don’t leave your future to chance – get skilled legal help right away.