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Name: People v. Martinez
Case #: E058136
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/28/2014

Mandatory supervision condition that requires former gang member to report to police gang unit is reasonable to ensure appellant’s compliance with his release terms. Appellant pled guilty to resisting an officer (Pen. Code, § 69) and was sentenced to county prison for two years, with one year suspended and a year of mandatory supervision under terms and conditions. He claimed a term requiring him to report to the gang unit of the police is unreasonable because he is no longer a gang member, his offense was not gang related, and the condition is not calculated to prevent future criminality. Held: Affirmed. Although supervised release is monitored by the probation department, it is not the equivalent of a grant of probation. A county jail commitment under the Realignment Act is akin to a prison sentence; mandatory supervision is similar to parole. The reasonableness of parole conditions is evaluated under the same standards used to assess probation terms. Here, appellant committed a number of gang-related offenses in the past and was only recently “jumped out” of his gang. He lunged at and grabbed an officer while the officer was observing his gang tattoos. Disassociation from gang members and making police aware of appellant’s supervision terms will reduce the temptation for him to return to criminal behavior. As a result, the condition is reasonably related to future criminality and the trial court did not abuse its discretion by imposing the condition.

Condition restricting appellant’s access to court building is reasonable, but needed scienter requirement. Appellant claimed the term preventing him from being present at a court building except as a witness, party, or defendant is unreasonable, is overbroad, and violates his First Amendment right to court access. However, such conditions have been upheld as valid gang terms. Here, the condition was intended to prevent appellant from intimidating witnesses in gang-related proceedings, which was proper and reasonable in this case. The Court of Appeal modified the condition to state that appellant shall not be present at any criminal court proceeding or courthouse building that he knows or reasonably should know involves gang charges or members, whether as defendants or witnesses.