By Darren Chaker,
Penal Code section 654 does not bar imposition of sentence enhancements for Penal Code section 12022.5, subdivision (a) (use of a firearm) and Penal Code section 12022.7 (great bodily injury). Appellant was convicted by jury trial of assault with a firearm (Pen. Code, sec. 245, subd. (a)(2)), with the jury also finding true the personal use of a firearm (Pen. Code, sec. 12022.5) and personal infliction of great bodily injury enhancements (Pen. Code, sec. 12022.7, subd. (a)). Applying rules of statutory construction, the appellate court found that imposition of both enhancements did not violate a Penal Code section 654 prohibition against multiple punishments arising out of the same criminal act (disagreeing with People v. Ahmed (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1407).
The court considered the provisions of the enhancement statutes along with the sentencing provisions of Penal Code section 1170.1. By the plain terms of each of the enhancement statutes, imposition of the enhancement is mandatory. Not only do these statutes mandate imposition of both, but Penal Code section 1170.1, subdivisions (f) and (g) also require imposition of one firearm use enhancement and one great bodily injury enhancement in the circumstances presented in the instant case. Application of the general section 654 provisions would impermissibly conflict with and nullify these specific statutory directives. The Legislature can create an express exception to section 654, and with these provisions has done so. (See People v. Palacios (2007) 41 Cal.4th 720 [with sec. 12022.53, the Legislature intended a sentencing scheme unfettered by sec. 654].)