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Name: People v. Harrison
Case #: C048707
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2005

Where a defendant has been convicted of possessing child pornography, a probation condition precluding him from accessing the internet was not unduly restrictive. An undercover police officer posed as the father of a 12-year-old girl and communicated with the defendant online. After the defendant repeatedly requested meetings so that he could have sex with the girl, a search warrant was obtained for defendant’s home. The search turned up child pornography on four computers. The defendant was ultimately placed on probation with a probation condition that precluded him from possessing any internet device or accessing the internet in any way. A probation search conducted after the defendant told his therapist of a plan to kill the deputy district attorney turned up evidence that the defendant was accessing the internet to look for work and to view adult pornography. After he was found in violation of probation, the defendant asked the court to modify the restriction on his internet access, since the limitation was impeding his ability to earn a living. The court eventually interpreted the condition to mean that the defendant could work with computers so long as they were not connected to the internet, but could not possess any computer in his home. On appeal, defendant argued that the condition was constitutionally overbroad. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, distinguishing contrary case law because the conduct underlying defendant’s conviction, as well as his threats against the district attorney, made a more restrictive probation condition reasonable under the circumstances.