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Name: People v. Munoz
Case #: C075983
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/05/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 4/29/2015: S224900
Summary

Defendant forfeited claims challenging mandatory supervision conditions because he failed to object at the time the conditions were imposed. After pleading guilty to sale of a controlled substance, Munoz was granted formal probation pursuant to the conditions set forth in a probation officer’s report. One of those conditions required that he complete a psychological or psychiatric counseling program if directed to do so by his probation officer. Another required that he sign any necessary release so that the psychotherapists could communicate with his probation officer. Munoz did not object to those conditions at the time they were imposed, and did not object to them being imposed again during three subsequent probation revocation hearings. However, in his appeal following the third probation revocation proceeding, Munoz argued that the trial court abused its discretion under People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481 by imposing the psychotherapy condition because it had no relationship to the crime for which he was convicted (sale of methamphetamine). He also argued that the release of information condition was overbroad. Held: Affirmed. By failing to object to the mandatory supervision conditions, Munoz forfeited the claims on appeal. (See People v. Welch (1993) 5 Cal.4th 228; In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875.) Although there is an exception to the forfeiture rule for issues that involve pure questions of law that can be resolved without reference to the record, the court here concluded that Munoz’s claims could not be resolved without analysis of the facts. Trial counsel’s failure to object did not amount to ineffective assistance because there may have been a tactical reason for withholding an objection: fear that the trial court would respond to an objection by denying probation altogether.