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Name: People v. Woodall
Case #: D062005
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/13/2013

Penal Code section 1203.2, which allows arrest of defendant who is allegedly in violation of his probation based on unsworn warrant, is constitutional. Woodall pled guilty to drug offenses and was granted probation and ordered to complete a drug court program. When he left the program without permission, the drug court summarily revoked his probation and issued an arrest warrant. At an initial hearing, probation was summarily revoked; at a subsequent formal evidentiary hearing his probation was revoked and his sentence executed. On appeal, Woodall challenged the constitutionality of section 1203.2, because it allows arrest of a probationer without a warrant based on oath or affirmation. Held: Affirmed. The warrant clause of the Fourth Amendment provides warrants shall not issue without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. Section 1203.2 does not require that a probation officer’s report of a violation to the court be based on oath or affirmation. However, probationers have a diminished expectation of privacy and the government has a substantial interest in monitoring released offenders. Probation terms often allow search of a probationer and his home/car. “Just as the warrant clause is inapplicable to the search of a probationer’s home, it is inapplicable to the arrest of a probationer.”

Probation revocation procedures that allow for a single revocation hearing are constitutional. Woodall claimed that section 1203.2 is unconstitutional in not requiring a preliminary probable cause hearing and allowing for a single revocation proceeding. However, trial courts may summarily revoke probation to maintain jurisdiction over and obtain physical custody of the probationer, so long as a timely probation revocation hearing is held. A probable cause hearing is only required if there is a significant delay between the time of probationer’s arrest and an evidentiary hearing.

Section 1203.2 is not unconstitutional as applied to Woodall. The initial summary revocation proceedings did not deny Woodall due process. At the hearing Woodall admitted he left the drug program, so he knew the nature of the violation alleged. Further, Woodall failed to identify any prejudice resulting from the summary revocation hearing; he does not dispute that he was accorded his due process rights at the time of the full evidentiary hearing.