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Name: People v. Castro
Case #: F046915
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/11/2006
Subsequent History: Review Granted 7/19/06: S143426
Summary

An anonymous tip that included some basis for the tipster’s knowledge, coupled with an alleged threat to another person’s safety, justified a traffic stop. In response to a dispatch report that a suspect was armed with a gun and had threatened to shoot his wife, a CHP officer stopped the suspect’s vehicle. The appellate court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress, finding that while the case fell somewhere between Florida v. J.L. (2000) 529 U.S. 266 and Alabama v. White (1990) 496 U.S. 325 in terms of the reliability of the tip itself, exigent circumstances justified the stop in this case. The court acknowledged that the United States Supreme Court has not applied exigent circumstances in the context of a Terry stop, but found that an anonymous tip of an imminent threat to kill a specific person was an exigent circumstance justifying an immediate stop, even if an anonymous tip of reckless driving (see People v. Wells (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 155, rev. gr. 12/15/04) or an anonymous tip of gun possession (see People v. Dolly (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 1354, rev. gr. 8/10/05) do not constitute exigent circumstances.