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Name: Mosley v. Superior Court (2024) 101 Cal.App.5th 243
Case #: C099530
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/05/2024

Under the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, a detective’s belief that gang members frequently hide guns in their cars, combined with defendant’s position 20 feet from his car, did not provide probable cause to search the vehicle for contraband. Officers received a call that a group of men in an apartment complex parking lot were creating a music video, and one of them, a thin young man dressed in black, was holding a handgun. Once at the location, officers instructed the group of six men to put their hands in the air. D.M., a juvenile in a black shirt…

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Name: People v. Felix (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 439
Case #: B317938
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/07/2024
Subsequent History: Opn. modified 3/12/2024

Defendant, who was a foreign national driving a car that belonged to a third party, was lawfully detained while an officer made further inquiries of the dispatcher performing the records check for defendant and the owner of the vehicle. Following a valid traffic stop in Utah, Felix provided an officer with an identification card from Mexico and vehicle registration in the name of a third party from California. He was detained approximately 12 minutes while the officer performed a records check and asked dispatch for additional information. The officer then obtained consent to search the vehicle just prior to dispatch…

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Name: Boitez v. Superior Court (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 1213
Case #: C098102
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/07/2023

Defendant’s consent to search of car during traffic stop was not voluntary under the Fourth Amendment where it was inextricably linked to the officer’s false promise of leniency not to tow the car. Defendant was pulled over for a traffic violation while driving his mother’s car. As part of obtaining defendant’s consent to search the car, the police officer falsely, but apparently with subjective belief that it was true, stated that he had the authority to tow defendant’s mother’s car, but would not do so if defendant consented to the search. Defendant agreed, twice asking if the car could be released…

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Name: People v. Suggs (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1360
Case #: C096555
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/31/2023

Denial of motion to suppress evidence reversed where police unlawfully prolonged vehicle stop after determining there was no Vehicle Code violation. Sacramento police stopped Suggs’ car because it displayed only paper plates and the officer did not see any registration or recent purchase documents in view. As the officer approached the vehicle, he saw a temporary registration attached to the rear window, which was tinted. Even though the officer discovered that he had no basis for writing a citation, he proceeded to ask Suggs and his passenger questions and ran a records check, which revealed their licenses were suspended and…

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Name: People v. Session (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 723
Case #: G060536
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/19/2023

Investigator who identified defendant as a burglary suspect and knew of his parole status properly placed a warrantless GPS tracking device on his vehicle; the source of his knowledge regarding defendant’s parole status was not legally relevant. Defendant was a suspect in a string of residential burglaries, some of which were captured by home security systems. During a traffic stop, the investigating officer who had already identified both the defendant and the vehicle as suspects in several of the burglaries, arrived at the scene and placed a warrantless GPS tracking device on the vehicle. The officer knew defendant was on…

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Name: People v. Leal (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 1143
Case #: C096463
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/25/2023

When officers have probable cause to search a particular compartment of a vehicle for evidence of a crime, and no such evidence is found, the search must stop absent facts generating probable cause to search another compartment of the vehicle. After surveilling a juvenile who was believed to be carrying a gun, a detective informed officers that he likely placed the gun under the front passenger seat of defendant’s car. The detective surveilling the car never saw defendant’s trunk open, nor did he see anyone access the trunk in any manner. No gun was found in the passenger compartment during…

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Name: People v. Gyorgy (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 659
Case #: G061567
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/14/2023

Trial court erred in denying motion to suppress evidence found during a vehicle search where the officer unlawfully prolonged a traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff and inquire into matters unrelated to the traffic violation. An officer followed defendant’s truck after being advised that the “vehicle had acted suspiciously” at a motel known for drug trafficking. The officer initiated a traffic stop after observing an unsafe lane change. For the first four or five minutes of the detention, the officer questioned defendant about matters unrelated to the traffic stop. After more than five minutes, he told defendant the basis…

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Name: People v. Tran
Case #: D074605
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/24/2019

Exigent circumstances justified the warrantless seizure of defendant's dashboard camera where officer reasonably believed the camera contained evidence defendant drove recklessly before an accident and the evidence could be destroyed. Tran's vehicle crossed a double yellow line on a sharp curve in the road and collided with a motorcyclist who sustained life-threatening injuries. Evidence at the scene indicated Tran was traveling at a high rate of speed and officers noticed he had removed his dashboard camera. The dashboard camera was seized and a search warrant was obtained for its contents. Tran's motion to suppress evidence from the dashboard camera was…

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Name: People v. Lee
Case #: D073740
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/03/2019

In granting defendant's motion to suppress, trial court properly concluded that defendant's post-Proposition 64 possession of a small amount of marijuana was of little relevance in assessing probable cause. Police pulled defendant Lee over based on Vehicle Code violations. During a pat-down search for identification, Officer Robles found a bag containing a small amount of marijuana and a wad of cash in Lee's pocket. Robles searched the car and found cocaine, a gun, and other items related to selling narcotics. Charged with drug and weapons offenses, defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence. The trial court granted…

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Name: People v. Kidd
Case #: E070996
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/16/2019

Defendant was detained without reasonable suspicion where an officer pulled in behind the defendant's car, which was stopped on the side of a residential street with its fog lights on, and pointed spotlights at the car. In the wee hours of the morning, an officer saw a car parked on a residential street with its amber fog lights on. Wanting to see what the two people inside the car were doing, the officer pulled in behind them, pointed his spotlights at their car, and exited his vehicle. As he approached the car, the officer smelled marijuana. After…

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