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Name: People v. Strider
Case #: B204571
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/29/2009
Summary

Search based on reasonable suspicion of firearm in a public place was unlawful where location was not a public place. Police officers observed Strider to have a gun protruding from his pocket. He was standing inside the fenced front yard of a house. The fence was high, and had only one gate; it would have been difficult for a member of the public to access the yard. The officers pursued Strider into the house and recovered the gun and a bag of cocaine. The trial court denied his suppression motion, holding that the police had probable cause because Strider had a gun on him in a public place. On appeal from his conviction for armed possession of cocaine, Strider argued that his suppression motion was wrongly denied. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The area inside the fenced yard was not a public place, so the officers had no probable cause to arrest him for a violation of Penal Code section 12031. Therefore, the officers uninvited entry into the house was unlawful, and the conviction had to be reversed.