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Name: People v. Osborne
Case #: A121195
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/14/2009
Summary

The offense for which a subject is arrested, or is arrestable, may provide a basis for searching the passenger compartment of the subject’s vehicle and any containers located in the passenger compartment, such that there is no violation of the subject’s Fourth Amendment rights. Police officers observed appellant standing next to the trunk of a parked Lexus. Appellant appeared to be handling exposed wires in the trunk but when he saw the officers, he closed the trunk and walked away. A second man in a driveway nearby ran away. Appellant complied with an order to step back from the officers and went and sat in the Lexus. When one of the officers contacted appellant, he noticed that the interior door panel of the vehicle was stripped off, trim from the dashboard and around the stereo system was missing, and there were loose tools strewn about in the passenger area. Appellant, in response to the officer’s order, got out of the vehicle and stated that he was not on parole, he had just been discharged, and the officers did not have his consent to search. The officer searched appellant and found a gun in appellant’s right front pocket. A backpack inside the Lexus was searched and found to contain illegal controlled substances. The initial detention was justified as the officer had a reasonable suspicion that appellant was burglarizing or stripping the Lexus (Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1); the patdown of appellant was justified as the officer could reasonably conclude, under the totality of the circumstances, that appellant had access to tools that could be readily used as weapons (People v. Simons (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1100); and the search of the vehicle and backpack were justified because it was reasonable for the officer to believe that the vehicle contained evidence of the crime for which appellant was arrestable, illegal possession of a firearm. (Arizona v. Gant (2009) 556 U.S. ___ [173 L.Ed.2d 485].)