People v. CruzAnnotate this Case
Cruz, who had an outstanding felony warrant for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, was found sitting in the driver's seat of a stolen car. Crue pled guilty under Vehicle Code 10851(a). The probation report explained that Cruz, 21 years old, was born in El Salvador, and he came to the U.S. when he was 16; it described his use of alcohol and drugs as “[m]oderate.” The proposed probation conditions included that Cruz “shall not use, consume, possess or transport alcohol . . . [or] marijuana ” and required Cruz to submit to chemical testing and complete a drug assessment. The court suspended the imposition of sentence and placed Cruz on three years of probation. Defense counsel argued that alcohol and marijuana are legal substances and that Cruz’s offense was not related to drug use. Cruz had admitted that on the day of the arrest, he smoked marijuana.
The trial court struck the no-alcohol condition but imposed a condition prohibiting Cruz from using or consuming marijuana. The court of appeal struck the marijuana-related conditions as having no relationship to the crime of conviction and not reasonably related to preventing Cruz’s future criminality. Cruz has never been accused of a drug-related offense and does not currently suffer from a substance abuse problem.