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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: B187453
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/14/2006

The holding in Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1, allowing police to perform a “pat down search” for weapons where there is reason to believe the person is armed and dangerous, does not justify a search for ordinary evidence, here evidence of identification. In this case, the officer stopped the Spanish-speaking appellant for riding a bicycle without an operative headlamp and then when searching him for identification in order to issue a citation, discovered methamphetamine inside his right-front pant pocket. At the suppression hearing, the sole justification for the seizure of the methamphetamine was a “pat down” search for identification. The appellate court, noting that the record was devoid of any concern that appellant was armed and dangerous, very emphatically declined to “indulge in legal legerdemain” to justify such a search by rewriting Terry and directed the trial court to grant the suppression motion.