California Appellate Court upholds searches of devices as valid condition of probation.

In this California unpublished appellate decision, a number of trial issues are discussed that are outside of the scope of this blog. A sentencing issue arose here as the appellate court had to decide whether a court order permitting any electronic device to be searched was a reasonable condition of probation.

The specific language of the order that all defense lawyers nationwide should be on the lookout for was “[s]ubmit your person and property, including any residence, premises, container, electronic device, or vehicle under your control to search and seizure at any time of the day or night by any law enforcement or probation officer with or without a warrant.”

The appellate court rejected the defense argument that the search condition was overbroad. Since the issue was not raised below and thus, waived, the appellate court looked to whether the condition is facially unconstitutional.

The Court cited a long string of cases that held that basic search conditions for person and property have repeatedly been found reasonable and constitutional. Turning to the arguments about specific privacy concerns re: electronic devices (where the Defendant relied on Riley and Carpenter), the Court found “no reason to depart from the well-recognized treatment of search conditions when that condition implicates electronic devices.”

The Court relies on a string of cases, recounted here: (People v. Reyes, supra, 19 Cal.4th at pp. 746, 754; People v. Ramos, supra, 34 Cal.4th at 494, 505-506; In re Binh L. (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 194, 203-205, 6 Cal. Rptr. 2d 678; People v. Balestra, supra, 76 Cal.App.4th at pp. 66-68; see also United States v. Mitchell (11th Cir. 2009) 565 F.3d 1347, 1351, 1352).

The case is People v. Reed, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 779, 2019 WL 396857 (Cal. Ct. Appeal, 5th Dist.) January 31, 2019.

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