Staying Out Of All Kohls Stores As Condition Of Probation Is Ok Says Appeals Court

In this criminal case the appeals court said it was alright to exclude a probationer from going to Kohls after being convicted of theft. Contreras pled no contest to felony second degree commercial burglary for stealing seven pairs of jeans from Sears and to felony possession of drugs. At the time of the offenses, he was on misdemeanor probation for two prior burglaries, one for burglarizing a Kohl’s. The court suspended imposition of sentence and granted three years of formal probation with various conditions. One condition required that he stay out of all Kohl’s stores and of all Sears stores. On appeal, Contreras raised a number of issues, including that the Kohl’s probation condition was vague, overbroad, and unreasonable under People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 486. Held: Affirmed on this point. The Kohl’s condition is not unreasonable under the Lent test. Even though Contreras’ current conviction was for stealing from Sears, he has victimized both Sears and Kohl’s in the past (this was his fourth commercial burglary) and therefore the condition is related to the crime for which he was convicted. Additionally, the condition is reasonably related to his future criminality, as his crimes are intimately related to the retail function of the stores and the condition will prevent him from further victimizing these businesses. Contreras also argued that the Kohl’s condition was overbroad because it burdened his right to travel, but the court reasoned that the condition was narrowly tailored to protect Kohl’s from further theft. His argument that the condition is unconstitutionally vague because it does not contain a knowledge requirement lacked merit: “Given the signage on modern retail establishments, we fail to see how one could unknowingly enter a Kohl’s store.” CCAP.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV.
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