California Penal Code Section 288.1 - Interpretation

Section 288.1 provides the court may not grant probation to a person convicted of committing any lewd or lascivious act on a child "until the court obtains a report from a reputable psychiatrist, from a reputable psychologist . . . as to the mental condition of that person." In People v. Thompson (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d 1547, 1549, the Court of Appeal held that a section 288.1 report is not mandated in every lewd or lascivious act case. (Ibid.) The trial court must order a psychological report under section 288.1 only if it is inclined to grant probation. If the court is not inclined to grant probation, it has no duty to order a section 288.1 report. (Ibid.) The Thompson court explained its reasoning: "The obvious intent of the Legislature in enacting this statute was to protect society by requiring a psychiatric or psychological report insuring that defendant is a suitable candidate for probation. Where the court, as in this case, has no intention of granting probation, and the record supports such a denial of probation, a section 288.1 report is not mandated." (People v. Thompson, supra, 214 Cal.App.3d at p. 1549.)