Developments in Criminal Law
New Laws from the 2023 Legislative Cycle

Searches While On Probation and Information Supervision for Minors

In 2023, the California Legislature focused on rehabilitating minors by raising the restitution amount to allow for more minors to participate in informal supervision. It also specifically addressed who may conduct a search as part of the terms and conditions of probation.

SB 852 Limits Searches to Probation Officers and Other Peace Officers

SB 852 clarifies that a person who is subject to search or seizure as part of the terms and conditions of probation or mandatory supervision is subject to search or seizure only by a probation officer or other peace officer. SB 852 addresses a tactic used by ICE agents, known as a probation ruse, in which an ICE agent pretends to be a probation officer so as to trick people into cooperating with them. Because a person on probation is required to comply with searches at any time, these people are deceived into complying with ICE agents and find themselves placed under arrest.

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Informal Supervision Now Permitted for Minors if Restitution Amount Is Less Than $5,000

AB 1643 (2023 Cal. Stats. ch. 850) prohibits a youth from participating in a program of supervision if the youth has committed an offense in which the restitution owed to the victim exceeds $5,000–up from the previous amount of $1,000. It also increases to $5,000 the restitution amount needed for a probation officer to commence proceedings. Together, these amendments should help with the rehabilitation of youths by allowing more of them to take advantage of informal supervision.