California Penal Code Section 1203.1 and Landmark Probation Cases

Under Penal Code section 1203.1, a court granting probation may impose "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 ... ." ( 1203.1, subd. (j).) "The primary goal of probation is to ensure 'the safety of the public ... through the enforcement of court-ordered conditions of probation.' (Pen. Code, 1202.7.)" (People v. Carbajal (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1114, 1120.) "In granting probation, courts have broad discretion to impose conditions to foster rehabilitation and to protect public safety pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.1. " (Id. at pp. 1120-1121.) As to limitations on constitutional rights, "probation is a privilege and not a right, and ... adult probationers, in preference to incarceration, validly may consent to limitations upon their constitutional rights ... . " (People v. Olguin (2008) 45 Cal.4th 375, 384.) But the Supreme Court has recognized that "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 unconstitutionally overbroad. " (In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875, 890.) Also, "a probation condition 'must be sufficiently precise for the probationer to know what is required of him, and for the court to determine whether the condition has been violated,' if it is to withstand a challenge on the ground of vagueness. " (Ibid.) In the ordinary case in which a trial court imposes a probation condition based on its determination of historical or situational facts regarding the defendant or the defendant's offenses, a reviewing court is confined to determining whether the condition amounted to an abuse of discretion. (See People v. Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th 1114, 1120-1121.) In particular, the court has "broad discretion to impose conditions to foster rehabilitation and to protect public safety." (Id. at p. 1120.) But the court's discretion is not without limits. "As with any exercise of discretion, the sentencing court violates this standard when its determination is arbitrary or capricious or ' " 'exceeds the bounds of reason, all of the circumstances being considered.' " ' " (Id. at p. 1121.)