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Name: People v. Ashburn
Case #: C036029
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/25/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. grant & hold 10/17/01

Defendant was stopped for speeding and expired registration. An incorrect DMV record, relied on by the police, showed that defendant’s car registration had expired eight months earlier, so they impounded his car and found drugs during an inventory search. In fact, defendant had registered the car the day before. There was conflicting evidence on whether the officers were offered written proof of registration by the defendant. Noting that “it takes time to process paperwork”, the court found no evidence of negligence or inadequate recordkeeping by anyone. Moreover, the officers were not required to accept defendant’s oral assurance he had registered the car, or be bound by the fact a current sticker was on the license plate, since those stickers are often stolen.