Are Provisions Restricting the Rights of a Juvenile to Associate Constitutional ?
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranties the right to associate. (Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party (1997) 520 U.S. 351, 357; Dawson v. Delaware (1992) 503 U.S. 159, 163, 117 L. Ed. 2d 309.)
Provisions restricting the rights of a criminal defendant or juvenile to associate have been found improper where they are overbroad, restricting not only that conduct properly subject to regulation, but protected association.
In In re Justin S. (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 811, the Court of Appeal found a prohibition of a minor's association with "any gang members" to be unconstitutionally overbroad. The Court of Appeal stated: "Prohibiting association with gang members without restricting the prohibition to known gang members is '"a classic case of vagueness.'" Such a condition of probation 'suffers from constitutionally fatal overbreadth.'" (Id. at p. 816.) The appellate court narrowed the condition to preclude the juvenile from associating with persons known by him to be associated with a gang.
And, in In re Kacy S. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 704, the Court of Appeal found that the record did not justify the sweeping limitation effected by a probation condition; that a probationer "'not associate with any persons not approved by his probation officer.'" (Id. at p. 712.)
While in In re Frank V. (1991) 233 Cal. App. 3d 1232, the appellate court noted that the trial court elaborated on those conditions indicating that the persons who the probationer was precluded from associating with were those who his parents and the probation officer "tell you . . . that you can't hang out with." (Id. at pp. 1241-1242.)
Penal Code section 1203.1, subdivision (j) provides in part: "The court may impose and require any or all of the above-mentioned terms of imprisonment, fine, and conditions, and other reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for the breach of the law, for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach, and generally and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the probationer, . . ."
But the trial court's discretion is not boundless. (People v. Garcia (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 97, 101 (Garcia).) "Regarding the claim of constitutional invalidity, we agree conditions of probation that impinge on constitutional rights must be tailored carefully and 'reasonably related to the compelling state interest in reformation and rehabilitation . . . .' " (People v. Delvalle (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 869, 879.)