No. D071132.

In re N.H., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. N.H., Defendant and Appellant.

Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One.


California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.


N.H. appeals after a jury found true allegations that she caused over $400 in property damage (Pen. Code1, § 594, subd. (a)(b)(1), count 1) and possessed not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana (Health and Saf. Code, § 11357, subd. (b), count 2). N.H. was made a ward and placed on probation with various terms and conditions. Her court-appointed counsel filed a brief raising no issues, but seeking our independent review of the record pursuant to People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 (Wende) and Anders v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 738 (Anders). We find no arguable issue and affirm.


On an evening in June 2016, Jose N. was visiting friends when he heard a banging noise. He left to check on his truck. Once outside he saw N.H. banging on his truck with a shovel. When he yelled, the two individuals with N.H. ran, but he was able to grab N.H. An individual from the Sheriff's Department searched N.H. and found, among other things, what turned out to be 0.45 grams of marijuana. Jose's truck suffered over $6,000 in damages.

N.H. testified, claiming she went out that night with Frankie and her cousin. She denied hitting the truck with the shovel, claiming Frankie hit the truck with the shovel.


Appointed appellate counsel has filed a brief summarizing the facts and proceedings below. He presented no argument for reversal, but asked this court to review the record for error as mandated by Wende, supra, 25 Cal.3d 436. Counsel has identified the following issues that "might arguably support the appeal" (Anders, supra, 386 U.S. at p. 744) whether: (1) sufficient evidence supported the true finding on count 1; and (2) the trial abused its discretion in denying the section 17, subdivision (b) motion. We granted N.H. permission to file a brief on her own behalf. She has not responded.

In evaluating the sufficiency of the evidence supporting a conviction, "`we review the whole record in the light most favorable to the judgment to determine whether it contains substantial evidence . . . from which a rational trier of fact could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.'" (People v. Jennings (1991) 53 Cal.3d 334, 364.) The testimony of a single witness, if believed by the trier of fact, is sufficient to support a conviction, unless that testimony is physically impossible or inherently improbable. (People v. Young (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1149, 1181.) "The applicable standard of review is the same as for adult criminal appeals." (In re Amanda A. (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 537, 545.) Here, despite N.H.'s denial, Jose's testimony established that N.H. was the person who damaged his truck with the shovel. The juvenile court found Jose to be credible and found N.H.'s version of the incident not credible. We cannot "substitute our evaluation of a witness's credibility for that of the fact finder." (People v. Jones (1990) 51 Cal.3d 294, 314.)

The juvenile court has discretion to decide whether a wobbler should be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. (People v. Superior Court (Alvarez) (1997) 14 Cal.4th 968, 977.) The court's exercise of such discretion is "an intensely fact-bound inquiry." (Id. at p. 981.) On appeal, the burden is on the appellant to clearly show the juvenile court's sentencing decision was irrational or arbitrary. (Id. at p. 977.) In the absence of such a showing, we presume the juvenile court acted to achieve legitimate sentencing objectives. (Id. at pp. 977-978.) The juvenile court's decision "`will not be reversed merely because reasonable people might disagree.'" (Id. at p. 978.)

Here, the juvenile court noted that count 1 was a wobbler offense, but declined to treat it as a misdemeanor because Jose suffered extensive damages. We cannot second guess that decision. N.H. has failed to meet her burden to show the juvenile court acted irrationally or arbitrarily in declining to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor.

Our review of the record pursuant to Wende, including the possible issues listed by counsel pursuant to Anders, has disclosed no reasonably arguable issues on appeal. Competent counsel has represented N.H. on this appeal.


The judgment is affirmed.

McCONNELL, P. J. and AARON, J., concurs.


1. Undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code.


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