By Darren Chaker
People v. Kim, 193 Cal.App.4th 836 (Cal.App. 6th Dist., March 22, 2011) the court addressed a common issue. Failure to object to the reasonableness of a probation condition results in forfeiture of the issue on appeal. By his no contest plea, appellant was convicted of felony battery and, after waiving completion of a probation report, he was granted probation. As conditions of probation, he was ordered to seek employment, pay the court security fee and the criminal facilities assessment, and prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition per Penal Code sections 12021 and 12316.
On appeal, appellant contended that the employment condition was not reasonably related to the probation offense; the costs were not properly conditions of probation; and the firearm/ammunition condition required knowledge. The appellate court ruled that the first issue was forfeited because appellant failed to object to it at the sentencing hearing. Appellant's attempt to salvage the argument by characterizing it as a question of law not requiring objection was of no avail because the challenge depended on the particular circumstances of the case which, without a probation report, were not part of the record.
The court security fee and criminal facilities assessment should not be made conditions of probation. The court agreed that it was error to impose the security fee and criminal assessment as conditions of probation because such costs are collateral to appellant's crime and punishment and should be separately imposed rather than as probation conditions.
A condition of probation explicitly referencing a statute need not contain a knowledge element when such an element is implied in the statute. Finally, as to whether knowledge is required for a condition referencing a specific statute, the court found it was not necessary. With Penal Code sections 12021 and 12316, implicit in these crimes of possession is that a person is aware that the item is in his possession and what it is. The court found that the same is true of a probation condition referencing the statutes and there is no reason to give a condition implementing the statue a different interpretation than the underlying statute has already received. (Disagreeing with People v. Freitas (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 747 holding that a probation condition must specify a knowledge requirement.)