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Name: People v. Brendlin
Case #: C040754
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/27/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 4/14/04: S123133

A passenger in a car stopped by law enforcement officers may challenge the legality of the stop under the Fourth Amendment. An officer stopped a car in which the defendant was a passenger based on the officer’s hunch that the temporary license permit in the window was invalid. As a result of the stop, the officer discovered that a warrant had been issued for the defendant’s arrest, and drugs were discovered in a subsequent search of the defendant and the car. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress, finding that he was not detained until…

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Name: Illinois v. Lidster
Case #: 02-1060
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/13/2004

A highway checkpoint aimed at obtaining information from motorists regarding a past crime did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Officers here set up a checkpoint at the scene where a fatal hit-and-run had occurred a week earlier, stopping each vehicle for ten to fifteen seconds to hand the occupants a flier and ask whether they had witnessed the incident. As defendant Lidster approached the checkpoint, his van swerved and nearly hit an officer. The officer smelled alcohol on Lidster’s breath, and a field test showed that he was under the influence. He was arrested and successfully…

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Name: Maryland v. Pringle
Case #: 02-809
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 12/15/2003
Subsequent History: Cross cites: 124 S. Ct. 795; 157 L. Ed. 2d 769

Defendant’s confession did not require suppression where it resulted from a lawful arrest undertaken with probable cause. An officer stopped a car for speeding and saw a large amount of cash in the glove compartment while the driver was retrieving his registration. The driver consented to a search of the car, and officers found cocaine in the back seat. All three passengers, including the defendant, were arrested and taken to the police station. The defendant waived his rights under Miranda and confessed that he was the owner of the drugs. He later moved to…

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Name: U.S. v. Ibarra
Case #: 02-30389
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 09/09/2003
Subsequent History: None

After receiving information from drug enforcement agents that an Isuzu Trooper was traveling through Oregon and that the DEA suspected it of carrying methamphetamine, police officers followed the car until the driver committed a traffic violation (speeding), and then stopped the car with a drug detecting dog present. As one officer began to write the citation, the dog alerted to a section of the car while being walked around its exterior. The driver signed a consent to search form in Spanish, since he did not seem to speak English. Drugs were found beneath the middle console, which…

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Name: U.S. v. Fernandez-Castillo
Case #: 01-30398
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/08/2003

When police officers stopped appellant for erratic driving, they noticed a smell of marijuana in the car and ash on appellant’s lip. They detained appellant after discovering an immigration hold. The car was searched pursuant to a search warrant, and 500 grams of methamphetamine were found. Appellant challenged the initial investigatory traffic stop of the car. The circumstances of the stop were that the vehicle had been reported as driving erratically; the officer who stopped the car knew the source of the report, which described the vehicle in detail, including the license plate; the officer…

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Name: U.S. v. Colin
Case #: 01-50140
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/31/2002

Colin was the passenger in a vehicle driven by coappellant Estrada-Nava when it was stopped by a police officer for lane straddling violations (which consisted of touching the side of the lane a few times) and suspicion that the driver might be under the influence. Both appellants were nervous and shaking while the officer talked to them. Neither of the appellants owned the vehicle, and the officer suspected it might be stolen, so he questioned both of them separately. On the basis of their conflicting stories and their nervousness, the officer suspected them of drug trafficking. Both…

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Name: U.S. v. Hernandez
Case #: 02-50155
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/30/2002

Appellant was a passenger in the rear seat of a minivan when the vehicle entered the United States from Mexico. After the vehicle was stopped at an inspection area, officers found nearly 100 pounds of marijuana inside the driver’s door. Appellant made a statement that he was being paid to ride in the vehicle so that the vehicle would give the impression of a family returning from vacation. On appeal, he argued that his "mere presence" as a rear seat passenger in a van carrying drugs across the border was not enough to establish probable cause to…

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Name: People v. Hamilton
Case #: A097329
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/21/2002
Subsequent History: none

Appellant’s vehicle was stopped because a computerized DMV report showed it had an expired registration. A search turned up cocaine and a firearm. The DMV report turned out to be inaccurate. The trial court denied appellant’s suppression motion, holding that the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied. Here, the appellate court affirmed the denial of the suppression motion. Even though the Supreme Court in People v. Willis (2002) 28 Cal. 4th 22 held that the good faith exception did not apply where police relied on erroneous information from parole authorities, that case can…

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Name: U.S. v. Henderson
Case #: 99-10526
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/11/2000
Subsequent History: None

The district court did not abuse its discretion in failing to order the government to disclose the identity of a confidential informant, and in failing to hold an in camera hearing on that request in this prosecution for multiple bank robberies. Here, appellant failed to make the minimal threshold showing that the disclosure would be relevant to at least one defense, which, had it been made, would have required the district court to hold an in camera hearing on the disclosure issue at which it would balance appellant's interest in putting on a defense against the government's interest in…

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Name: People Dey
Case #: C033002
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/27/2000
Subsequent History: rev. den. 3/14/01; cert. den. 10/1/01

The presence of a useable quantity of marijuana among a defendant's property in the passenger compartment of a vehicle he was driving provided sufficient probable cause to search the vehicle's trunk. The United States Supreme Court has held that if probable cause justifies the search of a lawfully stopped vehicle, it justifies the search of every part of the vehicle. (United States v. Ross (1982) 456 U.S. 798.) Therefore, the rulings of contrary California cases, although not expressly repudiated, have no continued vitality. It is reasonably probable that a person who has a useable quantity of…

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