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Name: In re Angel R.
Case #: G039120
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/05/2008

Counsel was not ineffective for failing to pursue a suppression motion where the evidence would have been inevitably discovered. The minor was approached by police officers, who asked him if he had any contraband on his person. The minor’s first trial counsel filed a motion to suppress the minor’s answer to that question, and the evidence subsequently discovered, because it was posed before any Miranda warning. A subsequently appointed trial counsel failed to pursue the motion by permitting the court to order it off calendar. On appeal, the minor contended that this constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. The appellate court rejected the argument, concluding that the discovery of the evidence would have been inevitable anyway as the minor would have been searched incident to arrest. Inevitable discovery of evidence is a legitimate basis for denial of a suppression motion, even one focusing on the involuntariness of an admission or one obtained in violation of Miranda.
There was sufficient evidence that an altered pocket knife was a switchblade in violation of Penal Code section 653k. The minor was also convicted of possession of a switchblade, which was a pocketknife which had been altered so that it opened with the flick of the wrist. On appeal, the minor contended the evidence was insufficient that the knife was a switchblade as defined under Penal Code section 653k. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the statute’s exemption for knives that open with one hand utilizing thumb pressure did not apply. The knife in question was not of that type: it opened by merely a flick of the wrist, not with pressure on the blade or thumb stud.
There was sufficient evidence to support the conviction for possession of graffiti tools. The minor also argued on appeal that the felt marker and stickers found on his person were insufficient evidence of graffiti tools as proscribed by section 594.2, subdivision (a). The appellate court rejected the argument. There was no evidence nor argument proffered that the marker was the basis of the section 594.2 charge. The stickers were marked with black covered graffiti style tagging and the exact letters constituting the monogram of the minor’s tagging crew. They fell within the definition of an implement as proscribed by the statute.