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Name: People v. Leath
Case #: B239508
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/20/2013
Summary

Defendant’s voluntary relinquishment of identification card to police upon request does not result in illegal detention. Leath pled guilty to two counts of robbery after his motion to suppress evidence was denied. On appeal Leath claimed he was detained without probable cause or reasonable suspicion when police requested his identification card. Held: Affirmed. The Fourth Amendment is not implicated when officers ask to see an individual’s identification card. Cases differ, however, regarding the constitutional implications if the person acquiesces to the officers’ request. The better conclusion is there is no detention where the card is relinquished voluntarily because the individual is free to ask for his card back and then to leave the scene. Whether the encounter is consensual must be determined based on the totality of the circumstances. In any event, here, appellant and his vehicle matched the description of the robbers and their car that the victims provided. The robbery took place only minutes and blocks away from where police encountered Leath. Thus, officers had a reasonable suspicion that Leath had committed a crime.