Skip to content
Name: In re A.S.
Case #: A144487
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/16/2016
Subsequent History: Review granted 5/25/2016: S233932

Electronics search term of probation valid for minor, who had a troubled background and mental problems, to prevent future criminality and ensure compliance with probation terms. The minor admitted allegations in a juvenile delinquency petition (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602) that she committed a misdemeanor assault by means of force likely to inflict great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(4)). She appealed the juvenile court’s imposition of an electronics search term of probation. Held: Affirmed. A juvenile court may impose reasonable probation terms to aid in the rehabilitation of the minor (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 730, subd. (b)). A probation condition is invalid if it (1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not related to future criminality (People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481). The third Lent factor is at issue in this case. The juvenile court spoke at length about the minor’s troubled home life, drug usage, romantic relationship with a 23-year-old female, serious mental illness, and assaultive behavior. It noted the minor required close supervision to ensure success on probation and observed that the minor used Facebook. The juvenile court found the search term would foster needed supervision. Based on the particularized facts of this case, the electronics search condition was not only warranted, but also vital to ensure the minor’s compliance with probation terms and prevention of future criminality.

The electronics search condition of probation was not overbroad. The minor required intensive supervision if she was released from juvenile hall in order to succeed on probation; the broad electronics search term was consistent with this objective. If the minor can articulate how the search term negatively impacts her privacy rights, she can file a motion in the juvenile court to modify the condition.

The probation term prohibiting the minor from being on school grounds unless enrolled or accompanied by a parent or guardian requires modification to include a knowledge requirement. Because the boundaries of school campuses are not always readily identified, the minor’s complaint that the “school grounds” term of probation is vague has merit. Due process requires that a probationer be given fair warning of what is required or prohibited by the probation terms. The school grounds condition was modified to prohibit the minor from knowingly being on school grounds unless enrolled or accompanied by an adult/guardian.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: