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Name: People v. Hinds
Case #: C040999
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/16/2003
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was charged with several drug offenses. His motion to suppress evidence was denied by a magistrate after a combined preliminary hearing and 1538.5 motion. The motion was not renewed in superior court. Appellant subsequently pleaded guilty to cultivation of marijuana. On appeal, he conceded that he failed to renew his motion, but argued that his counsel was ineffective for failing to do so, and that the merits of the appeal must be decided to determine whether he received effective assistance of counsel. The appellate court here rejected that argument, finding that a satisfactory explanation could exist for why the motion was not renewed, i.e. that the favorable plea bargain accepted by appellant may have been dependent on not pursuing the suppression motion. The court distinguished People v. Hart (which concluded that the merits of a suppression motion had to be decided in order to determine whether appellant had received effective assistance of counsel), because the defendant in Hart did not enter into a negotiated plea, but proceeded through jury trial. The court also noted that a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is more appropriately made in a habeas corpus proceeding.