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Name: In re Raymond C.
Case #: S149728
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/11/2008
Summary

Where a police officer observes a vehicle that, from the officer’s viewpoint, has no license plates or a temporary permit, the officer is justified in stopping the vehicle to further investigate if the driver is licensed and the vehicle registered. In this companion case to People v. Hernandez (S150038), the Supreme Court concluded that although appellant had a valid permit displayed in the front window of his vehicle, the officer, who driving behind the vehicle, was unable to see it and, thus, was justified in stopping the vehicle for what appeared to be a license violation. The officer was permitted to rely on his initial observation as to what he reasonably perceived to be a violation, and was not required to drive around the vehicle to see all the windows so as to eliminate the possibility that a permit was displayed other than in the rear window, as this could result in the officer’s loss of control of the situation.