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Name: People v. Ramirez
Case #: B182791
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/21/2006

If a pedestrian crossing a roadway is not creating an immediate hazard, an officer lacks probable cause to stop and search him. A police officer saw appellant cross an intersection outside the crosswalk. The officer decided that appellant was a “pedestrian in a roadway” in violation of Vehicle Code section 21954(a) and detained him. During the detention, appellant admitted to having a gun in his pocket. Appellant’s motion to suppress the gun was denied, and he entered a no contest plea to carrying a concealed weapon. The appellate court reversed the denial of the suppression motion. Probable cause requires specific facts from which the officer can reasonable suspect criminal conduct. Section 21954 requires a pedestrian to yield to traffic near enough to pose a hazard unless he is in a crosswalk. Here, appellant did not pose a hazard and the officer’s vehicle would have had to stop because of a stop sign, not because of appellant’s presence in the road. Therefore, the officer lacked probable cause to believe Ramirez was violating the law, and the detention was therefore unlawful.