H045624 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2018)



THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. CARLOS JOSE SALINAS, Defendant and Appellant.


California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115. (Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. C1766127)

Defendant Carlos Jose Salinas burglarized a medical facility, stealing computer equipment, prescription pads, and medications. He pleaded no contest to second degree burglary and possession of a prescription blank. The trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed defendant on three years' formal probation subject to various conditions, including that defendant submit to chemical tests and complete a substance abuse treatment program. On appeal, defendant challenges as unreasonable the chemical testing and substance abuse treatment program probation conditions. We shall affirm.


On April 21 or 22, 2017, defendant burglarized Alliance Occupational Medicine. He was arrested on April 22, 2017. Police recovered stolen property including computer equipment, prescription pads, and medications. Defendant broke a medicine cabinet lock to gain access to the medications. Defendant's motive for stealing the medication—whether for personal use, sale, or some other reason—never was determined.

A felony complaint filed on June 14, 2017 charged defendant with second degree burglary (Pen. Code, §§ 459, 460, subd. (b); count 1); receiving, concealing, or withholding stolen property exceeding $950 in value (§ 496, subd. (a); count 2); misdemeanor possession of a prescription blank (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 4325; count 3); and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, Carisoprodol, without a prescription (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 4060; count 4).

All further statutory references are to the Penal Code unless otherwise indicated. --------

On December 11, 2017, defendant pleaded no contest to counts 1 and 3 in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining counts and an indicated sentence of 180 days in County Jail and probation. At a March 1, 2018 sentencing hearing, the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and granted defendant three years' formal probation. As a condition of his probation, defendant was required to serve 180 days in County Jail. Over defendant's objection, the court also imposed conditions requiring defendant to "submit to chemical tests" and "complete a substance abuse treatment program." Defendant timely appealed.


Defendant contends the trial court abused its discretion by imposing the chemical testing and substance abuse treatment program probation conditions, which he maintains are unrelated to either his crimes or his future criminality. In defendant's view, given his lack of criminal history and the absence of any evidence that he intended to use the stolen medications himself, the only reasonable inference to be drawn is that he "was in some way involved with illegal drug sales," not that he was a drug user. The Attorney General responds that the conditions are valid because they are reasonably related to his crimes—burglarizing a medical facility and possessing a prescription blank—and his future criminality.

A. Governing Legal Principles and Standard of Review

"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." (People v. Carbajal (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1114, 1120 (Carbajal).) "A condition of probation will not be held invalid unless it '(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not in itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality . . . .' " (People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 486 (Lent), superseded on another ground as stated in People v. Wheeler (1992) 4 Cal.4th 284, 290-292.) The test set forth in Lent "is conjunctive—all three prongs must be satisfied before a reviewing court will invalidate a probation term. [Citations.] As such, even if a condition of probation has no relationship to the crime of which a defendant was convicted and involves conduct that is not itself criminal, the condition is valid as long as the condition is reasonably related to preventing future criminality." (People v. Olguin (2008) 45 Cal.4th 375, 379-380.)

We review conditions of probation for abuse of discretion. (Carbajal, supra, 10 Cal.4th at p. 1121.) A trial court does not abuse its discretion unless its determination is arbitrary or capricious or exceeds the bounds of reason, all of the circumstances being considered. (People v. Hughes (2012) 202 Cal.App.4th 1473, 1479 (Hughes).)

B. Analysis

Defendant was convicted of burglarizing a medical facility. There was evidence that, in the course of that burglary, he broke into a medicine cabinet in order to steal prescription medications. He also stole prescription blanks and was convicted of their improper possession in violation of Business & Professions Code section 4325. That defendant chose to burglarize a medical facility in particular and to steal medications and prescription blanks plainly support the reasonable inferences that defendant was abusing prescription drugs, that his current crimes were motivated by a desire to obtain such drugs, and that substance abuse could contribute to his future criminality. Thus, the court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the chemical testing and substance abuse treatment program probation conditions, which bear a relationship to defendant's crimes and are reasonably related to the prevention of future criminality by defendant.

People v. Petty (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1410 (Petty), on which defendant relies, is distinguishable. There, a defendant with a long history of mental health issues pleaded guilty to felony grand theft (§ 487, subd. (a)) for stealing jewelry from a friend's home. (Petty, supra, 213 Cal.App.4th at p. 1412.) The trial court placed him on probation subject to the condition that he take antipsychotic medications at the direction of his mental health worker, a condition he challenged on appeal. The court of appeal struck the challenged condition "[b]ecause there was no medically informed showing . . . that defendant's adherence to a particular medication regime was reasonably related to his criminal offense or his future criminality . . . ." (Id. at p. 1421.) The court's conclusion was informed by (1) "[t]he potent nature of the psychoactive drugs which defendant may be ordered to take"; (2) defendant's fundamental due process freedom to refuse to take antipsychotic medications; and (3) evidence that the defendant committed the crime to pay off a drug debt, rather than because of any underlying mental health issues. (Id. at p. 1417.)

Requiring a defendant to ingest antipsychotic medications, which can be accompanied by a laundry list of significant side effects (Petty, supra, 213 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1417-1418, fn. omitted), with "absolutely no medical input" (id. at p. 1419), is far more intrusive than the chemical testing and substance abuse treatment program conditions defendant challenges. Therefore, Petty offers defendant little support. Moreover, in Petty, there was evidence the crime was related to the defendant's drug use, as opposed to any mental health issues. And the court declined to place its usual "faith . . . in [the] probation officer's judgment as to how best to rehabilitate [the] defendant," given that whether antipsychotic medications would reduce the defendant's future criminality was not a "commonsense conclusion[], but [involved] predictions relating to serious illnesses and potent medications—matters requiring medical knowledge beyond the expertise of the probation department." (Id. at pp. 1419-1420.) By contrast, here, we are dealing with commonsense conclusions. Defendant burglarized a medical facility, stealing medications and prescription blanks. Those acts give rise to the reasonable inference that defendant intended to use the medications himself and to obtain more prescription drugs for personal use. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the chemical testing and substance abuse treatment program conditions.


The probation order is affirmed.


ELIA, J. WE CONCUR: /s/_________
GREENWOOD, P. J. /s/_________