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People v. Rhinehart

California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division

February 28, 2018

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
LIAM RHINEHART, Defendant and Appellant.

         Sonoma County Super. Ct. No. SCR675204 Honorable Patrick M. Broderick

          Counsel for Defendant and Appellant: Jasmine C. Patel, Kathryn Seligman, First District Appellate Project.

          Counsel for Plaintiff and Respondent: Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Jeffrey M. Laurence, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Eric D. Share, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Joan Killeen, Deputy Attorney General.

          Siggins, J.

         Defendant and appellant Liam Rhinehart pled no contest to one felony count of carrying a dirk or dagger and one misdemeanor count of exhibiting a deadly weapon. The trial court suspended his sentence and placed him on three years' probation. Rhinehart appeals probation conditions which ordered him to “[s]tay out of places where alcohol is the primary item of sale, such as bars or liquor stores;” to “[b]e of good conduct and obey all laws;” and to “not be adjacent to any school campus during school hours unless [he is] enrolled or with prior permission of school Administration or probation.” In order to address any possible vagueness, we modify the last condition to specify that he must maintain a 50-foot distance from any school campus. We otherwise affirm as modified.

         BACKGROUND

         In August 2015, Rhinehart entered a frozen yogurt shop in Santa Rosa and started to harass a group of children. When a shop employee asked him to leave, Rhinehart refused. Watching his exchange with an employee, a customer thought Rhinehart was positioning himself to attack the employee. The customer stepped between the two and joined in asking Rhinehart to leave. Rhinehart made his way towards the exit but was challenging the customer to fight. As he held the store door open, he appeared to reach for his knife. Fearful for his safety, the customer punched Rhinehart in the face, and the men continued fighting outside. Rhinehart pulled out his knife and swung, nearly striking the customer. At that point, the customer fled and Rhinehart gave chase. The customer eventually returned to the yogurt shop, where the employee locked the doors and called police.

         The police detained Rhinehart at gunpoint when he refused to follow the officer's instructions to get down on the ground. Nearby, another officer found Rhinehart's backpack which contained a “rusty saw-like knife.”

         Rhinehart was charged with two felonies: assault with a deadly weapon (Pen. Code § 245, subd. (a)(1) (count 1)) and carrying a dirk or dagger (Pen. Code, § 21310 (count 2)). He was also charged with three misdemeanors: exhibiting a deadly weapon (Pen. Code § 417, subd. (a)(1) (count 3)); resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer (Pen. Code, § 148, subd. (a)(1) (count 4)); and possession of a controlled substance (Health & Saf. Code, § 11350 (count 5)).

         In a negotiated disposition, Rhinehart pled no contest to carrying a dirk or dagger and exhibiting a deadly weapon. The other charges were dismissed. The trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed Rhinehart on probation for three years. Among his probation conditions, the court ordered Rhinehart to “[s]tay out of places where alcohol is the primary item of sale, such as bars or liquor stores” and to “[b]e of good conduct and obey all laws.”[1] The court also ordered gang conditions imposed. One of the gang conditions was that “You shall not be adjacent to any school campus during school hours unless you are enrolled or with prior permission of school Administration or probation.” The court noted the gang conditions were imposed “without prejudice to [defense counsel] calendaring this matter for a hearing to determine whether or not those should be modified or whether they're appropriate.” There is no record that Rhinehart sought modification of those conditions with the trial court. He now appeals.

         ANALYSIS

         “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.) “A probation condition... may be challenged as unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.” (In re E.O. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 1149, 1153 (E.O.)) The vagueness doctrine “bars the government from enforcing a provision that ‘forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague' that people of ‘common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application.' ” (People v. Hall (2017) 2 Cal.5th 494, 500.) “A restriction is unconstitutionally vague if it is not ‘ “sufficiently precise for the probationer to know what is required of him, and for the court to determine whether the condition has been violated.” ' [Citation.] A restriction failing this test does not give adequate notice-‘fair warning'-of the conduct proscribed. [Citations.] A restriction is unconstitutionally overbroad... if it (1) ‘impinge[s] on constitutional rights, ' and (2) is not ‘tailored carefully and reasonably related to the compelling state interest in reformation and rehabilitation.' [Citations.] The essential question in an overbreadth challenge is the closeness of the fit between the legitimate purpose of the restriction and the burden it imposes on the defendant's constitutional rights-bearing in mind, of course, that perfection in such matters is impossible, and that practical necessity will justify some infringement.” (E.O., supra, 188 Cal.App.4th at p. 1153.)

         Constitutional challenges to a probation condition are reviewed de novo. (In re Shaun R. (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 1129, 1143.) In an appropriate case, a probation condition that is not sufficiently precise or narrowly drawn may be modified in this court and affirmed as modified. (See, e.g., In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875, 892 (Sheena K.).)

         A. Condition Prohibiting Entrance In Stores Where ...


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