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Name: People v. Trujillo
Case #: D071715
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/21/2017

For defendant convicted of attempted robbery and assault, electronic search probation condition was valid under People v. Lent because it was reasonably related to preventing future criminality. Trujillo pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury. The court sentenced Trujillo to one year in county jail and three years’ formal probation. Over defense objection, the court imposed a condition of probation requiring Trujillo to submit his “computers and recordable media” to warrantless searches. He challenged the search term on appeal. Held: Affirmed. A condition of probation will not be held invalid unless it (1) has no relationship to the crime of which the defendant was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality. (People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481.) Here, the parties agreed the first two Lent factors were satisfied, so the only issue was whether the condition was “reasonably related to future criminality.” A probation condition that enables a probation officer to supervise his charges effectively is “reasonably related to future criminality.” (People v. Olguin (2008) 45 Cal.4th 375.) Here, the condition is reasonable under Lent because it will allow the probation department to effectively supervise Trujillo. He was a first time offender but had substantial risk factors for reoffending, including untreated alcohol abuse, social isolation, family history of suicide, family members who had been gang members, and economic stress. He committed two violent felonies, which implicates significant public safety concerns, and the trial court did not impose the condition as a matter of routine but made a finding the probation department needed to be able to view what is on Trujillo’s computer and cell phone. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the condition. [Editor’s Note: This issue is currently pending in the California Supreme Court. (See In re Ricardo P. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 676, review granted 2/17/2016 (S230923/A144149.)]

The electronic search probation condition was not overbroad. “A probation condition that imposes limitations on a person’s constitutional rights must closely tailor those limitations to the purpose of the condition to avoid being invalidated as constitutionally overbroad.” Relying on Riley v. California (2014)__U.S.__[134 S.Ct. 2473], Trujillo argued the search condition was overbroad because it allows for searches of private information unrelated to his criminal conduct or future criminality. The court disagreed, concluding that the infringement on Trujillo’s privacy rights is outweighed by the state’s strong need to closely monitor Trujillo (a probationer, not an arrestee) and protect public safety. Although electronic devices can store a wealth of private information as discussed in Riley, this is also true of a home, and Trujillo did not object to the condition permitting search of his residence. The record also contained no information that Trujillo owns a phone or computer and uses these devices to hold the type of sensitive medical, financial, or personal information described in Riley. Absent particularized facts showing the electronic search condition will infringe on Trujillo’s heightened privacy interests, there is no basis to conclude the condition is overbroad. If Trujillo adds information to his electronic devices that would invoke stronger privacy protections as compared to a warrantless search of his home, he could seek modification of the probation condition to protect the privacy of this information. (See Pen. Code, § 1203.2, subd. (b).)

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