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Old 04-17-2017, 4:23 PM
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Arrow People v. Bryant: probation search of e-devices unconstitutional for certain convicts

California's 2nd District Court of Appeal decision - Probation search of electronic devices on a person convicted of carrying a concealed unregistered handgun

People v. Bryant

So a prosecutor, in getting his conviction on a guy who was carrying an unregistered handgun without a CCW permit in Pasadena, CA, asks the Judge to impose (as a condition of probation) the requirement that if the person on probation is searched, that his "text messages, emails, and photographs on any cellular phone or other electronic device in his possession or residence" can also be searched. The trial court said "sure, no problem", even over the defendant's objections. Defendant makes this an issue on appeal, and the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal strikes the condition as unconstitutional, under People v. Lent, (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 486 and held that "a search of a defendant‟s cellular phone and other electronic devices implicates a defendant‟s constitutional rights". Just for the record, as of yet, I haven't read the Lent decision yet.

As a hypothetical, I would make the analogy that a prosecutor who asks a court to allow the Law Enforcement to demand a defendant's urine sample while on probation for some kind of credit card fraud, won't get it because the charge of fraud is not relevant to whether the guy needs his pee sample checked for drugs, unless his pee sample can detect that he/she was writing bad checks while going to the bathroom.

I hope that my title isn't misleading in any way. Otherwise, I thought this was interesting, in that, the Court of Appeal here asks the court below (in different language): "And what does the probationer's text messages, email, etc. have to do with whether the guy is being punished for carrying a loaded unregistered handgun?"

I also thought it might be relevant here because it involves a conviction of a guy who is carrying a concealed handgun, and gets caught with that handgun.

People v. Bryant

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