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Name: People v. Sandoval
Case #: D071560
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/30/2017

Criminal protective order preventing defendant convicted of domestic violence offense from initiating any contact with the victim for three years was appropriate under Penal Code section 1203.097 and reasonable. Sandoval was convicted of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse resulting in a traumatic condition (Pen. Code, § 273.5, subd. (f)(1)) and was placed on probation. He had choked his wife to the point of unconsciousness and this was his second domestic violence offense in a two-year period. At sentencing, over the objections of Sandoval and his wife, the court reissued a criminal protective order (CPO) preventing Sandoval from initiating any contact with his wife for three years. Sandoval appealed, arguing that the court erred in refusing to terminate or otherwise modify the CPO to allow some contact between the spouses. Held: Affirmed with a modification. If a person is granted probation for a domestic violence crime, the terms of probation shall include a criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence. (Pen. Code, § 1203.097, subd. (a)(2).) The trial court has discretion to include a residence exclusion and/or a stay-away condition when appropriate. The CPO “must be both reasonable and narrowly tailored to accomplish the state interests in reforming and rehabilitating the defendant offender, while at the same time protecting his or her victim from domestic violence.” Here, the requirement in the protective order that Sandoval avoid all contact with his wife was both reasonable and appropriate under section 1203.097 because it was reasonably related to the goals of protecting his spouse from further incidents while incentivizing Sandoval to engage in services to prevent further acts of violence.

The criminal protective order was constitutionally valid when modified to allow defendant’s wife to initiate contact. A probation condition that imposes limitations on a person’s constitutional rights, including the right to free association and marital privacy, should be narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling state interest. (People v. Jungers (2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 698.) The state interest in protecting Sandoval’s wife from further domestic violence and the state interest in incentivizing Sandoval’s rehabilitation justified the intrusion on his rights of association and marital privacy by limiting his ability to initiate contact with his wife. However, the restrictions were too narrowly drawn by precluding all contact between the spouses. Therefore, the court modified the protective order to clarify that Sandoval’s wife “may initiate contact with defendant but not vice-versa.” Modified accordingly, the protective order did not preclude all contact but instead limited the manner in which contact may take place.

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