A state appeals court has ruled that a convicted auto thief in San Rafael should not have been barred from marijuana use as a condition of his probation.
The vehicle was reported stolen in March 2019. Brayan Alexander Cruz Cruz, 21, was arrested five days later after police found him in the vehicle. Cruz Cruz accepted a guilty plea in less than two weeks.
Before the sentencing, Cruz Cruz told the probation department he used alcohol and marijuana on occasion. He said he had used marijuana on the day of his arrest.
Judge Geoffrey Howard granted Cruz Cruz probation for a three-year period. The probation terms included a prohibition on marijuana use, though not of alcohol. The defense attorney objected, saying marijuana use is legal under state law and had no connection to the crime.
A lawyer with the First District Appellate Project appealed to have the condition stricken. In a decision released Monday, the provision was ruled invalid by an unanimous three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
“We conclude the marijuana-related probation conditions are not reasonably related to preventing appellant’s future criminality,” Presiding Justice Barbara Jones wrote.